IRCTC Scam: CBI Probes Rabri Devi, Tejashwi; RJD Cries ‘Vendetta’

Lalu Prasad allegedly handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to Sujata Hotel in return for land in Patna

2 min read
Tejashwi Yadav and Rabri Devi.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday, 10 April, questioned former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi in connection with the alleged Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotel scam during the tenure of her husband Lalu Prasad as the railway minister, officials said.

The interrogation led by CBI started in Patna, officials confirmed.

The case pertains to allegations that Lalu Prasad, as railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two hotels run by the IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, in Ranchi and Puri to Sujata Hotel, a company owned by Vinay and Vijay Kochhar, in return for a prime plot of three acres in Patna through a benami company.

The FIR alleged that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader abused his official position for extending undue favours to the Kochhars, and acquired a piece of "high value premium land" through the benami firm, Delight Marketing Company.

As a quid pro quo, he "dishonestly and fraudulently" awarded the contract to them for the two hotels, the FIR had alleged.

After the tender was awarded to Sujata Hotel, the ownership of Delight Marketing Company also changed hands from Sarla Gupta to Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav between 2010 and 2014. By this time, Lalu Prasad had resigned as railway minister.

RJD spokesperson Shakti Yadav told NDTV that the raids were a political vendetta.

The CBI went ahead and filed an FIR even though its own legal wing said a case wasn’t made out. It’s a clear case of political vendetta. We are not afraid. Tejashwi Yadav has already dared the CBI to file a chargesheet. Why hasn’t the agency filed it?
Shakti Yadav, RJD spokesperson

The CBI registered the case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi, who was the deputy chief minister of Bihar until a few months ago, and Sarla Gupta, the wife of former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta.

Others named as accused in the FIR include Vijay and Vinay Kochhar, both directors of Sujata Hotels and owners of Chanakya Hotel, Delight Marketing Company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director PK Goel.

(With additional inputs from NDTV.)

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