IRCTC scam case: Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav get bail

IRCTC scam case: Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav get bail

former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi and her son Tejashwi Yadav. (PTI file photo)

RJD chief Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi and his son and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav were on Saturday granted interim bail by a Delhi court in connection with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) scam case.

The court's order came even as the CBI opposed the bail plea by the accused, claiming it would adversely affect the ongoing investigation in the case. 

According to the investigators, Lalu 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 Enforcement Directorate counsel claimed the accused were influential and may tamper with evidence and influence witnesses. The ED had registered a money laundering case in August on the basis of a CBI FIR filed a month earlier. 

The court granted bail to Rabri Devi and Tejashwi, who were present in the court, while Lalu, who is presently in jail, was not granted bail. 

Prasad was summoned to the court on Saturday but he was not present as he was unwell. The jail authorities in Jharkhand had informed the court about Lalu's condition.

It has now fixed November 19 as the next date of hearing. All accused have to furnish a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and the same amount as surety.

The court also ordered that Lalu be produced before it via video conferencing. The ED has claimed that the accused set up shell companies to launder money in the case.

According to the CBI FIR, Lalu allegedly conspired with others to grant Sujata Hotel Pvt Ltd (SHPL) the control of BNR Hotels for the three-acre prime plot in Patna. 

The plot was first given to a firm in which his close aide Prem Chandra Gupta's wife Sarla is a director and later transferred to Lalu's family. Lalu was then the Railway Minister in the UPA government.

Besides Lalu and Tejashwi, the FIR had named Sarla and former IRCTC Managing Director P K Goel, SHPL Directors Vijay and Vinay Kochhar and LARA Projects LLP. 

The CBI FIR claimed the Kochhars sold the Patna plot to Delight Marketing Pvt Ltd (DMCL), in which Sarla is a director, for Rs 1.47 crore and this payment was "arranged surreptitiously" in the form of investment in shares. 

After Lalu demitted office, DMCL transferred the shares of the company to Rabri Devi and Tejashwi between 2010 and 2014. 

"The shares of a company having a net worth of Rs 32.5 crore was transferred by the family member of PC Gupta to the family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav for a nominal amount of Rs 64 lakh," the FIR said.