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CBI Reopens Old Corruption Case Against Lalu, Tejashwi After Clean Chit in 2021

The case pertains from the time when Lalu was the Minister of Railways from 2004 to 2009 during the UPA rule.

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In fresh trouble for the Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance in Bihar, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reopened an old corruption case against RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, his son and deputy chief minister of Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav, and other family members.

The case pertains from the time when Lalu was the Minister of Railways from 2004 to 2009 during the United Progressive Alliance rule.

What is the case?: The accusation is that the real estate major DLF transferred a property in an upscale locality of South Delhi to the Yadavs as a bribe for a rail land lease project in Mumbai's Bandra and the upgradation of the New Delhi railway station.

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A shell company, AB Exports, which was funded by the DLF Home Developers, bought a property in 2007 for ₹5 crore in South Delhi’s New Friends Colony when the circle rate at that time was ₹30 crore. Circle rate is the minimum price at which a commercial property, ready house, apartment, or land can be registered for sale.

In 2011, Tejashwi, and Lalu's two daughters – Chanda and Ragini – bought AB Exports by transfer of shares for mere ₹4 lakh, thus gaining the ownership of the New Friends Colony property.

When did the CBI get involved? The CBI had initiated a probe in the case in 2018, however, no First Information Report (FIR) was filed.

The investigating agency had closed the case in May 2021 for want of evidence.

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What is the political significance of the reopening of the case?: The opposition parties have been accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of using central investigating agencies to harass the ruling party's political opponents.

The reopening of the case assumes significance as JD(U) president Nitish Kumar had broken off his party's alliance with the BJP in August this year to form the government with the RJD.

More than Lalu, it is Tejashwi's name in the case that acquires more significance in the current political situation. Lalu has mostly been politically inactive in the last few years as he has been embroiled in various corruption cases, for which he also had to face incarceration.

Meanwhile, his son and political successor Tejashwi is getting ready to play a bigger role in the Bihar politics. Chief Minister Kumar recently hinted that Tejashwi will lead the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar's next assembly elections in 2025. The corruption charges against the deputy CM will give a moral upper hand to the BJP and put the JD(U)-RJD alliance on the backfoot.

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Topics:  Lalu Prasad Yadav   DLF   CBI 

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