Delhi court summons Lalu, Rabri and Tejashwi over IRCTC scam allegations

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had in May submitted documents related to the alleged scam to the Patiala House Court in the national capital.

Delhi court summons Lalu, Rabri and Tejashwi over IRCTC scam allegations

A Delhi court on Monday issued summons to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi Yadav and other in connection with alleged irregularities in granting operational contracts of two hotels of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation to a private company. They have reportedly been asked to appear before the court on August 31.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had in May submitted documents related to the alleged scam to the Patiala House Court in the national capital. The documents ran into over 20,000 pages that the agency had collected in the course of the investigation.

The agency has in the past questioned former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav.

The alleged scam is a quid pro quo deal in which the Yadav family allegedly received real estate kickbacks for awarding contracts to a particular bidder. Apart from Lalu, Rabri and Tejashwi, 11 others stand accused in the scam.

As the Union Railway Minister in 2006, Lalu Prasad Yadav had allegedly awarded the maintenance contracts for two IRCTC hotels to a private contractor. According to the CBI, the RJD supremo received a bribe in the form of land.

The RJD chief allegedly got three acres of prime land through a benami company in return for the contracts. His family members too are suspected to have been involved.

Former union minister Prem Chand Gupta and his wife Sarla Gupta, B K Agarwal, then managing director of IRCTC, and then IRCTC director Rakesh Saxena were also named in the CBI chargesheet. The other names in the chargesheet include then group general managers of IRCTC VK Asthana and RK Goyal, Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar, both directors of Sujata Hotels and owners of Chanakya Hotel.

The case became a bone of contention between the RJD and the JDU, which were both part of the Mahagathbandhan along with the Congress party. When the probe into the allegations gained momentum, Tejashwi was the deputy chief minister of Bihar.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar decided to part ways with the RJD over allegations of irregularities faced by the Yadav family. He later joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to retain power in the state.

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