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Tejashwi to react to attachment of ₹45 crore mall plot after chargesheet is filed

The former Bihar deputy chief minister questioned the delay in submitting the chargesheet by the Enforcement Directorate.

patna Updated: Dec 09, 2017 09:10 IST
Tejashwi Prasad Yadav,RJD,IRCTC
Former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav with his father and RJD chief Lalu Prasad. (PTI)

Leader of the Opposition in Bihar assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Friday said he would reply to all allegations related to money laundering in the IRCTC hotel case once the central probe agencies filed the chargesheet.

His reaction came in the wake of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attaching a three acre plot estimated to be worth Rs 45 crore in his name in Patna earlier in the day.

Tejashwi, a former Bihar deputy chief minister and younger son of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad, said he and his mother Rabri Devi had appeared before the ED, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Income Tax Department for interrogation in the case on many occasions.

“I do not know why there is a delay in submitting the charge sheet,” Yadav told newsmen soon after the ED attached the plot on which a mall was coming up.

ED sources said in Delhi, that the land was allegedly in the name of Lalu Prasad’s family members and a mall was supposed to be constructed there. The property had been provisionally attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the sources added.

The central probe agency had last week questioned Rabri Devi in this case in Patna and had earlier questioned Tejashwi twice.

In July, the agency registered a case against Lalu Prasad, his family members and others under the provisions of the PMLA.

Prior to that, the CBI registered a criminal first information report and conducted multiple searches on the properties of Lalu Prasad and others.

The CBI is examining possible irregularities in award of contracts to operate Indian Railways’ BNR hotels in Ranchi and Puri to Sujata Hotels in 2005 when Prasad was railway minister. The investigating agency is also probing whether the RJD leader and his family benefitted from the deal.

On the day of transfer of the BNR hotels, owners of Sujata Hotels Vinay Kochhar and Vijay Kochhar had allegedly sold two acres of prime land in Patna to an intermediary company called Delight Marketing, now known as Lara Projects for Rs 1.5 crore, far below the market price. The Delight Marketing Company, owned by Sarla Gupta, wife of former Union minster Prem Chand Gupta, allegedly transferred the land gradually to Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi between 2010 and 2014.

The CBI had searched the homes and properties of Prasad and his family at 12 locations in Patna, Delhi, Gurgaon, Puri and Ranchi on July 7 as part of the investigations into the alleged irregularities in leasing out railway hotels.

A day earlier, the CBI had filed FIR against Lalu, Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav, businessmen Vijay Kochhar and Vinay Kochhar, Sarla Gupta and then managing director of IRCTC, PK Goel.

Prasad and his family are facing a spate of allegations of amassing huge benami property.

The Income Tax department had raided 22 locations in New Delhi and adjoining places, related to land and farm houses owned by Lalu’s daughter, Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar. After questioning by the ED, it provisionally attached a farm house (26, Palam Farms, Bijwasan, in New Delhi) on September 5.

The CBI has already recorded the statements of Tejashwi and Lalu Prasad in this case.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 09:10 IST