National

Land-for-job ‘scam’: CBI registers fresh case against Lalu Prasad, his wife and others

RJD leader Lalu Prasad. File.

RJD leader Lalu Prasad. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

The CBI on Friday searched multiple locations in Delhi and Bihar in connection with a fresh case registered against former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, his wife, two daughters and 12 others for the appointment of substitutes to the Railways’ Group-D posts allegedly in exchange for land parcels.

The searches were carried out on 16 premises linked to the accused persons in Delhi, Patna and Gopalganj in Bihar. Among those arraigned in the case are Mr. Prasad, his wife, Rabri Devi, and daughters Misha Bharti, a Rajya Sabha Member, and Hema Yadav.

The case is the outcome of a CBI preliminary enquiry initiated on September 23, 2021, into the charge that during 2004-09, when Mr. Prasad was the Railway Minister, several persons were appointed as substitutes to the Group-D posts in zones, in lieu of land. They were later regularised.

The agency alleged that no advertisement or public notice was issued for the appointments. The applications submitted by the beneficiaries were not properly addressed to the departments concerned. However, they were processed in alleged violation of the set guidelines. “...undue haste was shown in processing certain applications of candidates and, surprisingly, within three days from the date of receipt of the respective applications, their appointments as substitutes were approved,” said the First Information Report (FIR).

Appointed as substitutes

According to the FIR, several residents of Patna were appointed as substitutes in the railway zones located at Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hajipur, in exchange for land parcels transferred in the name of Mr. Prasad’s family members and a company, AK Infosystem Private Limited. The agency alleged to have identified seven such instances, including one in which four members of a family were appointed in 2008.

It is alleged that three sale deeds were executed in favour of Ms. Rabri Devi, one land was transferred in the name of Ms. Bharti and another “sold” to AK Infosystems, whose assets were later taken over by Mr. Prasad’s wife and a daughter in 2014. Two land parcels were initially transferred to Hridyanand Choudhary, a Gopalganj resident, and Lalan Choudhary from Siwan. They later executed gift deeds in favour of Ms. Hema Yadav, at the time when each was worth ₹62.10 lakh as per the circle rate.

The CBI alleged that about 1,05,292 sq ft of land situated in Patna was acquired by Mr. Prasad’s family members through the five sale deeds and two gift deeds. In most cases, payment to the sellers was shown to be in cash. The current circle-rate value of the seven parcels of land, including the land acquired through gift deeds, is over ₹4.39 crore.

The land parcels directly transferred to Mr. Prasad’s family members were purchased at prices -- ranging from ₹3.75 lakh to ₹13 lakh -- lower than the then prevailing circle rates, the FIR alleged.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 8:08:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/land-for-job-scam-cbi-registers-fresh-case-against-lalu-prasad-others/article65438505.ece