The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached six properties having book value of ₹6.02 crore in connection with the alleged land-for-job scam involving former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, his family members, and others.
According to the agency, the immovable assets belong to Mr. Prasad‘s wife Rabri Devi; their daughter Misha Bharti; Vineet Yadav, the husband of another daughter, Hema Yadav; and Shiv Kumar Yadav, father-in-law of Ms. Hema Yadav; apart from A B Exports and A K Infosystem, both allegedly owned and controlled by Mr. Prasad’s family members, and located in Delhi, Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh), and Patna (Bihar).
The ED probe is based on a First Information Report registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the then Railway Minister, his wife, and others. It is alleged that during his tenure, from 2004 to 2009, several persons were irregularly appointed as substitutes on Group ‘D’ posts in different Indian Railways’ Zones in exchange for land parcels.
The substitutes, who were residents of Patna, themselves or through their family members, gifted land to Mr. Prasad’s family members and a company controlled by them, at prices much lower than the then prevailing circle rate, it is alleged. The company was also involved in the transfer of such immovable properties in the name of his family members, as alleged.
The CBI has alleged that no advertisements or public notices were issued for the appointment of substitutes, yet the candidates in question were inducted in Zonal Railways situated in Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur, and Hazipur. Their applications and papers were collected through some persons and sent for processing. The substitutes were later regularised.
“This criminal conspiracy to abuse his official position for the sake of seeking bribes led to accretion of the land parcels by his family members at Mahuabagh (Danapur) and Bihta, Patna...,” the ED said on Monday.
Earlier in this case, the ED had conducted searches at multiple locations in and around Delhi, Patna, Mumbai and Ranchi, including the premises of Mr. Prasad, his family members, and their contacts. The agency found that Ms. Devi and Ms. Hema Yadav allegedly sold four land parcels, illegally acquired from the appointees, to Meridian Construction India Limited, a company related to former RJD MLA Syed Abu Dojana.
Through a maze of transactions, the proceeds were further transferred to A B Exports and Bhagirathi Tubes, respectively. They had sold the properties for ₹3.5 crore against the acquisition cost of ₹7.5 lakh, thus deriving huge gains, the agency alleged.
It alleged that Delhi-based A B Exports was a shell company owned by Mr. Prasad’s son and now the Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, Tejashwi Yadav, and daughter Chanda Yadav. Bhagirathi Tubes was a partnership firm under the control of the father-in-law and husband of Ms. Hema Yadav, with its principal place of business at Ghaziabad.