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April 13, 2024
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Bihar: CBI carries out searches at former CM Rabri Devi’s house in connection with IRCTC scam case

Case was reopened after ED found evidence of alleged money laundering and hawala transactions against Yadav family

Tejashwi Yadav also named in the case for allegedly purchasing property at a much lower price than market rate

RJD leadership comes out in support of the family, alleges BJP’s attempt to tarnish their image.

PATNA: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out searches at the official residence of former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi on Monday in connection with the IRCTC scam case. This development comes a week after a Delhi Court had issued summons to her husband, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, and Rabri Devi in the same case. According to reports, the CBI sleuths reached the residence soon after her son and Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav left for Vidhan Sabha.

What is the IRCTC scam?

The IRCTC scam is a case of alleged corruption that dates back to the period when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the Union Railway Minister between 2004 and 2009. According to the charge sheet filed by the CBI, the Yadav family was allegedly involved in providing jobs in lieu of land when he was the railway minister. The CBI alleged that the former chief minister had issued several key projects to Delhi Land & Finance (DLF)– a commercial real estate developer– when he was heading the Railway ministry in the UPA-1 government. The CBI alleged that the leader had received a property worth crores in South Delhi from DLF Group in exchange for several railway projects– land lease projects in Mumbai’s Bandra and the redevelopment of the New Delhi Railway Station.

Why was the case reopened?

Earlier in 2021, the CBI had closed the case against Yadav and his family members after it found “no concrete evidence that could prove the allegations”. However, in December last year, the CBI again reopened the corruption cases against the former chief minister. The case was reopened based on the findings of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had investigated the alleged money laundering angle of the case. The ED had found evidence of alleged money laundering and hawala transactions against the Yadav family.

Why is Tejashwi Yadav dragged into the corruption case?

As per the allegation levelled in 2018, the property was first bought by a DLF-funded shell company at Rs 5 crore. The probe agency alleged that the property was purchased at a much lower price than the then-market rate of Rs 30 crore. Later, the shell company was bought by Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav for just Rs 4 lakh by a transfer of shares. Notably, Tejashwi is currently holding the post of Deputy Chief Minister in Bihar. Besides his son, the CBI had also named daughters Chanda Yadav and Ragini Yadav in the case.

Recent developments in the case The recent summons issued by the Delhi Court to Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi had directed them to appear before the court on March 15. This came after the CBI filed a charge sheet against the couple in the IRCTC scam case. The charge sheet had named 14 accused, including Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi, and Tejashwi Yadav.

Following the searches at Rabri Devi’s residence, the RJD leadership came out in support of the family. Party spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said, “It is nothing but an attempt to tarnish the image of our leader and his family members. They (BJP) are trying to pressurize the family through the CBI to get political mileage.”

In conclusion, the CBI searches at Rabri Devi’s house in the IRCTC scam case have once again brought the spotlight on the Yadav family’s alleged involvement in corruption.

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