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Land-for-Jobs 'Scam' Explained: Railway Case Against Lalu Haunts New Bihar Govt

Lalu Prasad and his family acquired land worth 4.20 crore through illegal quid pro quo in 2004-2009, as per the CBI.

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Politics
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Land-for-Jobs 'Scam' Explained: Railway Case Against Lalu Haunts New Bihar Govt
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In what is being alleged to be a blatantly calculated targeting, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched raids at several premises linked to leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), hours before the party's coalition with the Janata Dal (United) won the trust vote in the Bihar Assembly on Wednesday, 24 August.

The central agency's searches at locations linked to the RJD, including a mall linked to Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, come two weeks after JD(U) called off its alliance with the ruling BJP at the Centre, and joined hands with the RJD.

The raids were carried out in connection with an ongoing case against RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is alleged to have engaged in illegal quid pro quo while serving as the Union minister of railways in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

As per the CBI, Yadav's family had acquired over one lakh square feet of land, valued to the tune of Rs 4.20 crore, in exchange for a number of hastily-made appointments to entry-grade posts in the Indian Railways.

Land-for-Jobs 'Scam' Explained: Railway Case Against Lalu Haunts New Bihar Govt

  1. 1. What Is the Case?

    The CBI has alleged that the-then Minister of Railways Lalu Prasad, during the period 2004-09, had obtained pecuniary advantages in the form of transfer of landed property in the name of his family members and associates in lieu of appointment of about 12 substitutes in Group D posts in different zones of Railways.

    "About 1,05,292 square feet of land/immovable properties situated at Patna were acquired by family members of said minister through 05 sale deeds and 02 gift deeds, showing the payment made to seller in cash in most of the land transfer," the CBI had said in a statement in May.

    The CBI has furthered the following allegations against Lalu Prasad:

    • About 12 candidates were allegedly appointed as substitutes in Group D positions within three days of applying in "undue haste" by railway officials and were later regularised.

    • The substitutes, who were residents of Patna themselves or through their family members, sold and gifted their Patna land in transactions favouring the family members of the former railways minister.

    • A private company – AK Infosystems Private Limited – controlled by family members was involved in transfer of such immoveable properties in the name of said family members.

    • No advertisement or any public notice was issued for such appointment of substitutes in Zonal Railways.

    • The appointees, though they were residents of Patna, were appointed as substitutes in different Zonal Railways located at Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur, and Hazipur.

    “Out of seven instances of land transfer, it is revealed that three sale deeds were executed in favour of Rabri Devi, wife of Lalu Yadav, one sale deed was executed in the name of Misha Bharti, daughter of Lalu Prasad Yadav, one sale deed was executed in favour of M/s AK Infosystems Private Limited, in which later Rabri Devi became major shareholder, in the year 2014 and currently she is one of the Director of the Company. Two gift deeds were executed in favour of Hema Yadav, daughter of Lalu Prasad Yadav,” the FIR registered by the CBI states.

    The value of the seven parcels of land was about Rs 4.39 crore in May, as per the FIR.

    The central agency had filed the case after it raided 16 places in Delhi, Patna, and Gopalganj on 20 May.

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  2. 2. Who Has Been Named in the Case So Far?

    The CBI had registered a case against 16 persons in May, including:

    • Former Minister of Railways Lalu Prasad

    • Rabri Prasad (wife of Lalu Prasad)

    • Misa Bharti (daughter of Lalu Prasad)

    • Hema Yadav (daughter of Lalu Prasad)

    • Unknown public servants

    • Unknown private persons

    Expand
  3. 3. The Arrests in the Case

    The CBI on 27 July arrested the-then Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Lalu Prasad, Bhola Yadav, and another employee of the railways who was appointed as a substitute.

    "During investigation, it was found that then OSD to former Railway Minister during the period 2005-2009 was involved in the alleged conspiracy in appointment of substitute," the CBI had said in a statement.

    "It was further alleged that the accused was managing affairs in transfer of land by the family members of substitutes to the family members of former Railway Minister and also engaging of substitutes in Railway. It was also alleged that the said accused had acquired some properties during the relevant period," the CBI posited.

    Expand
  4. 4. The Fresh Raids and the Political Backlash

    The CBI on Wednesday conducted fresh raids at 25 locations in Patna, Madhubani, Kathar, Delhi, and Gurugram, including at an under-construction mall in Gurugram allegedly being built by a firm owned by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, in connection with the land-for-jobs case.

    The homes of four senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders – Sunil Singh, Ashfaque Karim, Faiyaz Ahmed, and Subodh Rai – were among those raided hours before the party's coalition was set to prove its majority in the floor test in the Bihar Assembly.

    The move was condemned as a calculated one, directed at undermining the RJD-JD(U) alliance's strength in the trust vote. "It is being done intentionally. There is no meaning to it. They are doing it thinking that out of fear, MLAs will come in their favour," RJD MLC Sanjay Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

    "It's a raid by the BJP. They work under the BJP now, their offices are run with the BJP's script. Today is the floor test and what's happening here? It has become predictable," senior RJD leader Manoj Jha said.

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

What Is the Case?

The CBI has alleged that the-then Minister of Railways Lalu Prasad, during the period 2004-09, had obtained pecuniary advantages in the form of transfer of landed property in the name of his family members and associates in lieu of appointment of about 12 substitutes in Group D posts in different zones of Railways.

"About 1,05,292 square feet of land/immovable properties situated at Patna were acquired by family members of said minister through 05 sale deeds and 02 gift deeds, showing the payment made to seller in cash in most of the land transfer," the CBI had said in a statement in May.

The CBI has furthered the following allegations against Lalu Prasad:

  • About 12 candidates were allegedly appointed as substitutes in Group D positions within three days of applying in "undue haste" by railway officials and were later regularised.

  • The substitutes, who were residents of Patna themselves or through their family members, sold and gifted their Patna land in transactions favouring the family members of the former railways minister.

  • A private company – AK Infosystems Private Limited – controlled by family members was involved in transfer of such immoveable properties in the name of said family members.

  • No advertisement or any public notice was issued for such appointment of substitutes in Zonal Railways.

  • The appointees, though they were residents of Patna, were appointed as substitutes in different Zonal Railways located at Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur, and Hazipur.

“Out of seven instances of land transfer, it is revealed that three sale deeds were executed in favour of Rabri Devi, wife of Lalu Yadav, one sale deed was executed in the name of Misha Bharti, daughter of Lalu Prasad Yadav, one sale deed was executed in favour of M/s AK Infosystems Private Limited, in which later Rabri Devi became major shareholder, in the year 2014 and currently she is one of the Director of the Company. Two gift deeds were executed in favour of Hema Yadav, daughter of Lalu Prasad Yadav,” the FIR registered by the CBI states.

The value of the seven parcels of land was about Rs 4.39 crore in May, as per the FIR.

The central agency had filed the case after it raided 16 places in Delhi, Patna, and Gopalganj on 20 May.

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Who Has Been Named in the Case So Far?

The CBI had registered a case against 16 persons in May, including:

  • Former Minister of Railways Lalu Prasad

  • Rabri Prasad (wife of Lalu Prasad)

  • Misa Bharti (daughter of Lalu Prasad)

  • Hema Yadav (daughter of Lalu Prasad)

  • Unknown public servants

  • Unknown private persons

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The Arrests in the Case

The CBI on 27 July arrested the-then Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Lalu Prasad, Bhola Yadav, and another employee of the railways who was appointed as a substitute.

"During investigation, it was found that then OSD to former Railway Minister during the period 2005-2009 was involved in the alleged conspiracy in appointment of substitute," the CBI had said in a statement.

"It was further alleged that the accused was managing affairs in transfer of land by the family members of substitutes to the family members of former Railway Minister and also engaging of substitutes in Railway. It was also alleged that the said accused had acquired some properties during the relevant period," the CBI posited.

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The Fresh Raids and the Political Backlash

The CBI on Wednesday conducted fresh raids at 25 locations in Patna, Madhubani, Kathar, Delhi, and Gurugram, including at an under-construction mall in Gurugram allegedly being built by a firm owned by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, in connection with the land-for-jobs case.

The homes of four senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders – Sunil Singh, Ashfaque Karim, Faiyaz Ahmed, and Subodh Rai – were among those raided hours before the party's coalition was set to prove its majority in the floor test in the Bihar Assembly.

The move was condemned as a calculated one, directed at undermining the RJD-JD(U) alliance's strength in the trust vote. "It is being done intentionally. There is no meaning to it. They are doing it thinking that out of fear, MLAs will come in their favour," RJD MLC Sanjay Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"It's a raid by the BJP. They work under the BJP now, their offices are run with the BJP's script. Today is the floor test and what's happening here? It has become predictable," senior RJD leader Manoj Jha said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and politics

Topics:  Lalu Prasad Yadav   Explainer   Explainers 

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Edited By :Tejas Harad
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