New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday filed chargesheet against former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi Yadav and others in a money laundering case related to the 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract.
The chargesheet was filed before Special Judge Arvind Kumar who has listed the matter for further hearing on August 25.
The case relates to alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts of two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm involving a bribe in the form of a three-acre commercial plot at a prime location in Patna district.
ED in its chargesheet has also named Prasad’s party colleague P.C. Gupta, his wife Sarla Gupta, a firm Lara Projects and 10 others as accused in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels tender case.
All of them are booked under various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
“The attachment worth Rs 44.75 crore of Delight Marketing has also been confirmed by adjudicating authority in the case,” the ED said in a statement.
ED alleged that Prasad and IRCTC officials allegedly misused their position for granting sub-lease of the rights of two railway hotels at Puri and Ranchi to Sujata Hotel Pvt. Ltd. owned by Kochhars.
“In lieu thereof, 358 decimal (3.5 acre) of prime land were transferred to Delight Marketing Company Pvt Ltd (a company owned by family of Gupta) in February 2005 at a consideration which was much less than the then prevailing circle rates,” ED said.
“The said company possessing valuable chunk of land gradually got transferred to Rabri Devi and her son Tejashwi by way of share purchase at nominal prices,” ED said.
The funds used to acquire the land had a dubious origin and had been laundered through IST group of companies belonging to Gupta by using an NBFC named Ms Abhishek Finance Company Limited belonging to PNR group of companies.
Subsequently, the shares of Delight Marketing Company Private Limited were acquired by Rabri Devi and Tejashwi at less than fair market value.
The Central Bureau of Investigation in April filed the chargesheet in the IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case against 12 people and two companies.