New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has registered a money-laundering case against RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his wife, younger son, and others regarding the upkeep of two IRCTC hotels during his term as Railway Minister, an official said on Thursday.
The agency filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) following registration of a first information report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on July 5.
The official said the ED will investigate the case against Lalu Prasad and others since the accused had allegedly generated money through shell companies.
The CBI had carried out searches at multiple locations against the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, his family members, and others.
“We received an official order regarding the case two days ago. Now, we have filed a PMLA case against Lalu Prasad, his family members, and others on charges of irregularities in the allotment of railway hotels (for upkeep),” an ED official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
Apart from Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav, others named in cases registered by the CBI and the ED include Vijay Kochhar and Vinay Kochhar — both directors of Sujata Hotels, Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Managing Director P.K. Goel.
The CBI said its investigation revealed that the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, as part of the United Progressive Alliance government, handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels in 2006 to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a ‘benami’ company owned by one Sarla Gupta.
The agency filed the case in connection with favours allegedly extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding the contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi in Jharkhand and Puri in Odisha and receiving premium land as ‘quid pro quo’.
Sources said the ED may attach the tainted assets during its investigation. (IANS)