The CBI on Monday filed a charge sheet against former railway minister Lalu Prasad and others in connection with alleged corruption in handing out a management contract for two IRCTC hotels to a private company, officials said. Former Bihar chief minister and Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi, and their son Tejashwi were also among the 14 people named by the CBI in the chargesheet file in a court here.
The agency had recently questioned former chief minister Rabri Devi in connection with the case, they said. The case pertains to allegations that Lalu Prasad, as railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two hotels run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, in Ranchi and Puri to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vinay and Vijay Kochhar, in return for a prime plot of three acres in Patna through a benami company.
The FIR alleged that the RJD leader abused his official position for extending undue favours to the Kochhars and acquired a piece of “high value premium land” through the benami firm, Delight Marketing Company.
As a quid pro quo, he “dishonestly and fraudulently” awarded the contract to them for the two hotels, the FIR had alleged. After the tender was awarded to Sujata Hotels, the ownership of Delight Marketing Company also changed hands from Sarla Gupta to Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav between 2010 and 2014. By this time, Lalu Prasad had resigned as railway minister.