Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

CBI Files Charges against Lalu's Family; RJD May Lose Lantern Symbol

CBI Files Charges against Lalu's Family; RJD May Lose Lantern Symbol

The CBI on Monday filed a charge sheet against former railway minister Lalu Prasad and others in connection with the alleged corruption committed in awarding tenders for development, maintenance and operation of Railway hotels at Ranchi and Puri to a private firm when the RJD chief was the union railway minister.

The CBI had registered a case in July previous year and carried out searches at 12 locations in Patna, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, and Gurugram in connection with the case.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official told IANS: "The agency has filed a charge-sheet against 12 persons and two companies in a Delhi court".

Sarla Gupta (wife of Prem Gupta), Vinay and Vijay Kochchar (owner of Hotel Chankaya), PK Goel, then IRCTC managing director PK Goel, Prem Gupta (close aide of Lalu Yadav), Rakesh Saxena, then director of IRCTC, BK Aggarwal, present additional member Railway Board (the then group general manager IRCTC) have been chargesheeted by the CBI.

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Then IRCTC GGMs R.K. Gogia (company secretary) and V. K. Asthana have also been named as accused.

The agency has accused Lalu Prasad of abusing his role as railway minister in the UPA government to award the contract for running two railway hotels -BNR Ranchi and BNR Puri - to Sujata Hotels in exchange for a plot of prime land in Patna.

It is alleged that in February 2005, the Kochhars sold the land to Delight Marketing and the same day the Railway Board informed the IRCTC that railway hotels were being transferred to it. In 2001, a decision was taken to handover management of catering services of Indian Railways, including of its hotels, to IRCTC. The company was later taken over by Lalu's family members, it alleged.

According to the CBI, Lalu colluded with the owners of Chanakya and Sujata Hotels in Patna through IRCTC officials and a front company that belonged to the then minister. While over 15 bid documents were received for both the hotels, IRCTC has no records of bidders other than Sujata Hotels. Sarla Gupta, who is the wife of Lalu's associate and RJD Rajya Sabha MP PC Gupta, was a director of Delight Marketing, which was transferred to Lalu and Tejashwi Yadav between 2010 and 2014.

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