ED issues fresh summons to Tejashwi, Rabri


New Delhi. The Enforcement Directorate has issued fresh summons to former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi and her son Tejashwi Yadav in connection with its money laundering probe into the railway hotels allotment case dating back to the UPA-I rule, official sources said.

They said while Tejashwi has been summoned on October 24, Rabri has been called on October 27 for questioning in the case.

While Tejashwi, a former Bihar deputy chief minister, had been grilled once by the central agency for more than nine hours, Rabri had skipped the summons at least four times.

The agency is probing members of the Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

In July, the Central Bureau of Investigation had registered a criminal first information report and conducted multiple searches on the properties of Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is also a former Bihar chief minister, and others.

The CBI FIR alleges that Lalu Prasad Yadav, as railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarla Gupta, wife of Prem Chand Gupta, a former Union minister.

Lalu Prasad Yadav was railway minister between 2004 and 2009.

The ED had registered a criminal case against Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family members and others under the PMLA, based on the CBI FIR. It had earlier questioned Sarla Gupta and others.

The CBI has also recently recorded the statements of Tejashwi Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav in this case.

The ED is investigating the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies in this case, officials have said.

Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay and Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and then IRCTC managing director P K Goel.

The CBI FIR was registered on July 5 in connection with favours allegedly extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as ‘quid pro quo’.