New Delhi: The CBI on Friday registered a case against former Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and others for their alleged involvement in irregularities in awarding tenders for development, maintenance and operation of hotels at Ranchi in Jharkhand and Puri in Odisha, officials said.
Raids were carried out by the central agency at over 12 places in Delhi, Gurugram, Patna, Ranchi and Puri.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation officials, the case is related to awarding of tender of the railway heritage hotels for development, maintenance and operation in 2006 to private companies.
In the same year, the hotels were transferred to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
The CBI has registered the case against Lalu; his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi; Tejaswi Yadav; former Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Managing Director P.K. Goyal; and the wife of Lalu’s confidante Prem Chand Gupta, Sujata.
CBI Additional Director Rakesh Asthana said Lalu Prasad had allegedly granted illegal favours to Sujata Hotels through the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) when he was the Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009.
Asthana said the private company was favoured and the tender process for the development, maintenance and operation of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri was manipulated in exchange for a three-acre land plot in Patna where a mall is being built.
“When Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister, the tender of BNR Hotels of the railways was given to Sujata Hotels,” he said.
“Three acres of land in western Patna was transferred by Delight Marketing Company Pvt Ltd that is known to the Yadav family,” he said, and added that between 2010 and 2014, this land was transferred to another company owned by the Yadav family’s Lara Projects at a very low cost.
“Transfer took place at a low price. The land was valued at Rs 32 crore as per the circle rates and the market rate was Rs 94 crore at the time. It was transferred to Lara Projects at nearly Rs 65 lakh,” said Asthana.
He said the case was registered on July 5 under sections 420, 120 B of the Indian Penal Code and sections 13 and 13 1 B of Prevention of Corruption act.
(With IANS inputs)