NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has submitted the documents it has collected in the alleged IRCTC hotels scam to the Patiala House Court in New Delhi. The CBI submitted over 20,000 documents that it had collected as part of its investigation into the scam involving RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members.
The submission of documents comes a month after the agency questioned Lalu's wife Rabri Devi and his son Tejashwi. The alleged scam is a quid pro quo deal in which the Yadav family received real estate kickbacks for awarding contracts to a particular bidder. Apart from Lalu, Rabri and Tejashwi, 11 others stand accused in the scam.
Lalu Prasad is already in jail, serving out multiple sentences at Ranchi's Birsa Munda Central Prison for his convictions in cases related to Bihar's infamous fodder scam. However, he is presently lodged in the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, after a stint at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.
When he was Railways Minister in 2006, Lalu allegedly paved the way for awarding the maintenance contracts for two IRCTC hotels to a private contractor. CBI claims Lalu received a bribe in the form of three acres of prime land through a benami company in return for the contracts. His family members too are suspected to have been involved.
The case has taken its toll on this Yadav clan. When it broke in July 2017, Tejashwi was Bihar's deputy chief minister. The investigation into him placed strains on the ruling JDU-RJD coalition. Bihar Chief Minister Nitsh Kumar broke the alliance with the RJD about three weeks later since Tejashwi was unwilling to quit his post while under investigation.
Nitish Kumar's exit from the 'mahaghatbandhan' was a blow to opposition hopes of holding the JDU in the anti-BJP camp. Almost immediately afterwards, the JDU returned to the NDA fold, with Nitish re-forming the government with BJP's Sushil Kumar Modi as his deputy CM.