Land-for-jobs scam: Candidates sold land at reduced rates to Lalu’s family, says CBI charge sheet

ByNeeraj Chauhan, New Delhi
Mar 15, 2023 12:02 AM IST

CBI has claimed in its charge sheet in the land-for-jobs case that candidates who got jobs as “substitutes” in the railways, either directly or through their family members and relatives, sold land to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family members.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has claimed in its charge sheet in the land-for-jobs case that candidates who got jobs as “substitutes” in the railways, either directly or through their family members and relatives, sold land to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family members, particularly wife Rabri Devi and daughter Misa Bharti, at “highly discounted rates”, sometimes a fourth or fifth of market rates.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad. (PTI)
RJD chief Lalu Prasad. (PTI)

HT has seen a copy of the charge sheet, filed in October but being reported for the first time, although most of the details in it have been public for some time. Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi are to appear before a court in connection with the case on Wednesday.

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Interestingly, the charge sheet mentions that a person who was approached for giving his land in lieu of job in railways refused to sell it saying the market value of his property was much higher.

The irregular appointments were made in “haste”, violating the laid down norms and procedures of the Indian railways for recruitment, CBI said in the charge sheet.

“Investigation has revealed that Lalu Prasad Yadav, during the period 2007-08, when he was union minister of railways, with the intent to acquire the land parcels situated in Village Mahuabagh, Patna and Village Kunjwa, Patna which were situated adjacent to the land parcels already owned by his family members, entered into criminal conspiracy with his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharati, officers of central railways and others and in pursuance thereto irregular appointments of candidates were made in Central railway, violating the laid down norms of Indian railways for recruitment,” CBI added.

“As quid pro quo, the candidates directly or through their immediate relatives/family members, sold land to the family members of Lalu Yadav at highly discounted rates up to 1/4th to 1/5th of the prevailing market rates,” the charge sheet stated.

Without naming the person, CBI has said “one more resident of the area was approached and pursued to transfer his land to family members of Lalu Yadav and was promised that in lieu of transferring his land the candidates nominated by him would get jobs in railways. However, he didn’t transfer his land. As per him also, the market prices of above land parcels were much higher than the prevailing circle rates”.

A Delhi court on February 27 took cognizance of the charge sheet, which has named 16 persons including Lalu Yadav, Rabri Devi and Misa Bharti, and summoned all accused for March 15.

CBI has highlighted that nine persons were appointed as substitutes in Group D in Central Railways without any such requirement and that there was no urgency for their appointment.

“It has been revealed that in lieu of the transfer of lands on throwaway prices, in favour of wife and daughter of Lalu Yadav, nine candidates as per wishes of sellers were engaged in railways. Out of nine persons, two were sellers themselves while remaining 7 were family members or close relatives of the sellers,” CBI added in its charge sheet.

CBI has further said the “applications were processed in haste manner and engagements were approved in violation of due procedure and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Railways through various circulars time to time”. In most candidates’ cases, it has been found that either documents submitted by them were incomplete or false.

All the candidates were subsequently given temporary status and regularized, giving them permanent jobs in railways which was the ultimate goal of conspiracy, CBI has said.

Reacting to the charge sheet, RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwary said: “Whatever is there in the charge sheet will be duly replied in the court. This is a clear indication of restlessness in the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP will be exposed in due time.”

Meanwhile, Lalu’s son and Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav was summoned by CBI for the third time on Tuesday but he failed to appear.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed last week it has detected proceeds of crime (PoC) worth 600 crore in the land-for-jobs case. These include a bungalow in New Friends Colony, Delhi worth 150 crore, where Tejashwi Yadav resides.

The Bihar deputy CM and Lalu Prasad’s son said last week that the is acting against its political opponents through agencies.

“It is an open secret that probe agencies are acting against political opponents of the BJP and helping those who agree to align with that party,” he said after raids at his bungalow and other locations connected with him.

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