ED registers case against Lalu, family

ED registers case against Lalu, family

Fresh trouble: RJD chief, son to be summoned for laundering money

ED registers case against Lalu, family
A day after Nitish Kumar pulled out of Grand Alliance in Bihar, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it has registered a case of money laundering against RJD chief Lalu Prasad and family members in connection with "irregularities" in handing over two hotels when he was Railway Minister.

The ED case is based on a CBI FIR filed on July 7 against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, their son Tejashwi Yadav, who was Deputy Chief Minister, and five others, in the case linked to allotting BNR hotels to Patna-based hoteliers. Sources said the ED action came after taking cognisance of the CBI FIR.

Sources said the ED officials may soon summon the accused to record their statements.

According to the CBI, Prasad allegedly conspired with others to grant Sujata Hotel Pvt Ltd (SHPL) the control of BNR hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 by circumventing procedures and for a consideration of a three-acre prime plot in Patna, which could now fetch around Rs 94 crore. The plot was first given to a firm in which his close aide Prem Chand Gupta's wife Sarla is a Director and later transferred to Prasad's family.

Other accused are Sarla, former IRCTC Managing Director P K Goel, SHPL Directors Vijay and Vinay Kochhar and LARA Projects LLP.

The FIR filed by CBI has precipitated the crisis in the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance government after Chief Minister Kumar insisted that Tejashwi should quit in light of the FIR. However, after Prasad rejected the demand, Kumar resigned. He was sworn in on Thursday with the support of BJP.

Kumar has been maintaining that probity in public life is important and if Tejashwi needed to continue in the Cabinet, he should defend himself satisfactorily in public.
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