The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed a chargesheet against former railway minister Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and 14 others as part of an investigation in the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotel tender case.
Along with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo and his wife, the chargesheet was filed against a Delhi-based private company, two Directors of a private hotel company, a private person, the then Managing Director of IRCTC, a Member of Parliament, and other officials from various departments under the IRCTC.
The investigation revealed that Lalu had entered into a conspiracy with the proprietors of a private hotel based at Patna and others, and in pursuant to the said conspiracy, managed undue favours to them through certain officers of the IRCTC, New Delhi, in exchange for the leasing of existing Railway Hotels at Ranchi and Puri.
It was further alleged that in consideration of this undue favour, a high-value prime commercial land at Patna was sold by the aforementioned proprietors to a company being run by a close aide of Lalu. Later, this company was taken over by family members of Lalu, after which the land reached the hands of his family members at a nominal/unreasonable cost.
Investigation also revealed that the former railway minister was aware of the transfer of BNR Hotels at Ranchi and Puri for its management, and still conspired with the IRCTC officials; the said promoters of a private hotel and then directors of other private companies based at New Delhi to derive undue pecuniary benefit through his wife and son. It was also alleged that the IRCTC officials rigged and manipulated the tender process of awarding re-development operations of two Railway properties.
On Tuesday, the CBI had conducted a raid at the residence of Rabri Devi in connection with the same case.
The probe agency also interrogated Lalu's son Tejashwi for more than four hours regarding alleged irregularities in allotting a contract for the maintenance of IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri.