RJD Chief Lalu Yadav Gets Interim Bail In Railways’ Hotel Scam Case

Lalu Prasad

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court today granted interim bail to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav till January 19 in two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) scam cases filed by investigating agencies CBI and Enforcement Directorate.

Special Judge Arun Bharadwaj granted interim bail to Lalu Prasad Yadav after he was produced before the court via video conference from a Ranchi jail, where he is serving time as a prisoner in a fodder scam case. He was unable to come to Delhi due to health reasons, an official from his party said.

The court directed both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file their replies to Lalu Yadav’s application seeking regular bail in both the cases.

The cases relate to alleged irregularities in granting operational contract of two IRCTC (Railways) hotels to a private firm.

The court had earlier granted regular bail to Lalu Yadav’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav in the CBI case. They are also on interim bail in the case filed by the Enforcement Directorate, which was extended till January 19, the next date of hearing.

In its charge sheet, the CBI had said there was enough evidence against Lalu Yadav, Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav and other accused, including Additional Member of Railway Board BK Agarwal, who was then the group general manager of the IRCTC (Railways).

Besides them, former Union minister Prem Chand Gupta, his wife Sarla Gupta, then managing director of IRCTC PK Goyal and then IRCTC director Rakesh Saxena are also named as accused in the chargesheet.

Among others named in the chargesheet are — then group general managers of IRCTC VK Asthana and RK Goyal and Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar, both directors of Sujata Hotels and owners of Chanakya Hotel.

Delight Marketing Company, now known as Lara Projects, and Sujata Hotels Private Limited have also been named as accused firms in the chargesheet.

The CBI had registered a case in July last year and carried out searches at 12 locations in Patna, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar and Gurgaon in connection with the case. The charges in the case include criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption, the CBI had said.