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IRCTC hotels contract case: CBI files charge sheet against Lalu Prasad, others

Lalu Prasad. File photo

Lalu Prasad. File photo  

The CBI on Monday filed a charge sheet against former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and others in connection with a railway-IRCTC hotels' maintenance contract case.

About a week ago, the CBI recorded a statement of the former Bihar Chief Minister and Prasad's wife, Rabri Devi, in Patna. She is also an accused in the case along with their son Tejaswi.

The CBI registered the case last year, alleging that the maintenance contracts for two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri were awarded to the Patna-based Sujata Hotels by tweaking the conditions. Prasad was the Railway Minister then.

Those named as accused include Sujata Hotels’ directors Vijay and Vinay Kochhar, Delight Marketing and others.

 

The CBI has alleged that the contracts were awarded in lieu of about three acre commercial property in Patna. The property was first sold to “front company” Delight Marketing, which was later taken over by Prasad’s family members.

14 in charge sheet

In all, 14 people have been arraigned in the charge sheet, including eight named in the FIR. They include Prasad, Ms. Devi and Mr, Tejaswi, close confidant Prem Chand Gupta, his wife Sarla Gupta, Sujata Hotels, its owners Vinay and Vijay Kochhar, LARA projects, then Managing Director P.K. Goel, then Director Rakesh Saxena and then Group General Manager B.K. Agarwal of IRCTC. Mr. Agarwal is currently additional member, Railway Board.

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

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.

Subsequently, maintenance contracts of the two hotels were given to Sujata Hotels, it is alleged.

After Prasad's family members took over the company between 2010-14, it was renamed as LARA Projects and then it was converted into a Limited Liability Partnership firm.

The property's circle rate was ₹.32 crore, while its market value was ₹.94 crore, the CBI had said.

Based on the CBI case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) also launched a money laundering probe and attached the three acre land. It also recorded Ms. Devi's statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2020 2:43:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/irctc-hotels-contract-case-cbi-files-charge-sheet-against-lalu-prasad-and-others/article23561688.ece

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