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CBI summons Lalu, Tejashwi in IRCTC hotels case
New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) The CBI on Friday said that it has issued fresh summons to RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav to appear before it for questioning regarding alleged irregularities in issuing contracts for two IRCTC hotels in 2006 to a private company.
“We have issued fresh summons to Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi to appear before the agency on 25 and 26 of this month,” a CBI official told IANS.
Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and his son, the former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, on September 7 to report at its headquarters in Lodhi Road area of south Delhi for questioning on September 11 and 12.
The CBI had on July 5 filed a corruption case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities when Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009.
The contracts for two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels at Ranchi and Puri were handed over to Sujata Hotels company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar in lieu of a bribe in the form of a plot of prime land in Bihar.
According to the CBI, Lalu Prasad allegedly granted illegal favours to Sujata Hotels through the IRCTC, and the tender process for the development, maintenance, and operation of the two hotels was manipulated in exchange for the three-acre plot in Patna where a mall is coming up.
The CBI, which registered the case on July 5 under Sections 420 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 13 and 13(1)B of the Prevention of Corruption Act, claimed that the kickbacks were paid through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarala Gupta, wife of RJD MP Prem Chand Gupta.
The CBI FIR alleged that Vinay Kochhar sold three acres of land in Patna through 10 sale deeds on February 25, 2005, for Rs 1.47 crore to Delight Marketing Company in which Sarla Gupta was a Director.
The FIR alleged that the land was sold at a price below circle and market rates and was falsely shown as agricultural land to evade substantial stamp duty.
During the CBI’s preliminary inquiry, the agency purportedly found that the said land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing and payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate, which is also probing the financial irregularities in the case, questioned Ahluwalia in connection with the case and also summoned Sujatha Hotels owners for questioning.
The ED had, on July 27, registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR and is probing allegations against Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transaction of money through shell companies.