The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sent summons to RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son-in-law and SP member Rahul Yadav in connection with the money-laundering probe in the IRCTC tenders case.
Rahul has been asked by the ED to appear before the investigating officer of the case for questioning on Wednesday.
The case, based on a CBI FIR that names Lalu, his son Tejashwi and wife Rabri Devi, pertains to alleged favour given by Lalu as Railway Minister to a company in cornering tenders for maintenance of two IRCTC hotels. Lalu’s family allegedly received prime plots of land as quid pro quo.
The ED says its probe has found that Rahul gave unsecured loan of Rs 1 crore to Rabri Devi through her company Delight Marketing, which is embroiled in the case. While Rahul’s family has claimed that the Rs 1 crore given to Rabri was raised through the sale of land in the name of Rahul’s father Jitendra Yadav, the ED suspects it to be a case of money-laundering under the facade of land sale.
“We are probing who purchased this piece of land from Rahul’s family. We suspect this deal was merely to camouflage movement of money,” an ED official said.
Contacted by The Indian Express, Rahul refused to comment on the matter.
Rahul is the son of former SP MLC Jitendra Yadav and contested the last UP Assembly polls on an SP ticket from Bulandshahr. Educated in Switzerland, Rahul had been favoured by the SP over several senior leaders for the ticket, and then CM Akhilesh Yadav had even sought votes for him in rallies. Rahul is married to Lalu’s daughter Ragini.
The ED is already probing Lalu’s eldest son-in-law Shailesh Kumar in another case of money laundering.
The CBI FIR in the IRCTC case alleged that Lalu, during his term as Railway Minister in the UPA-I government, handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to a company in 2004 after receiving bribe in the form of a prime land in Patna through a benami company owned by Sarla Gupta, the wife of Prem Chand Gupta, a former Union minister. It is investigating the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies in this deal.
Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director P K Goel.