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Sunday, December 04 2022

ED summons Tejashwi, Rabri in IRCTC case

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday summoned RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav and in connection with the alleged irregularities in a 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case, an official said.

An ED official, confirming the dates of the summons, said: “We have summoned Tejashwi and Rabri Devi on October 24 and 27 respectively.”

He said Rabri Devi, who is also a former Bihar Chief Minister had asked the financial probe agency to question her in Patna. “We denied her request to question her in Patna and asked her to appear before the agency on October 27,” he said. Rabri Devi has already skipped the agency’s summons four times.

The agency had questioned fromer Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on October 10, for over nine hours in connection with alleged irregularities in the IRCTC contract case.

Earlier, Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi were questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for hours in connection with the case on October 5 and 6 respectively.

The ED, on July 27, had registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR in the matter and began probing Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transfer of money through shell companies.

The CBI, on July 5, had filed a corruption case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts for Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm when the RJD chief was the Railway Minister.

The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar — both named in the CBI FIR as accused — in lieu of a bribe in the form of a three-acre commercial plot at a prime location in Bihar’s Patna district, the CBI said.

A preliminary CBI inquiry found the land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing Company and the payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia, another accused. The ED has since also questioned Ahluwalia.

Delight Marketing, which bought the property from the Kochhars, was later taken over by Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav, alleges the CBI.

Sarla Gupta, wife of the RJD chief’s close associate and former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta and a director of Delight Marketing, is a co-accused in the case, apart from then IRCTC Managing Director P.K. Goel.

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