New Delhi, Dec 20: A Delhi Court on Thursday granted interim bail to former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in an Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) scam case filed by Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate (ED).
CBI had registered the case in July last year against Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi and Sarla Gupta, wife of former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta, Vijay and Vinay Kochhar, both Directors of Sujata Hotels and owner of Chanakya Hotel, Delight Marketing Company now known as Lara Projects and the then IRCTC Managing Director PK Goel. Lalu Prasad, the then Railway Minister, abused his official position for extending undue favours to the Kochhar.
CBI has filed a chargesheet on April 16, 2018 by submitting before the court that there were sufficient evidence against Lalu, Rabri, Tejashwi and other accused persons in the case related to alleged irregularities in granting operational contract of two IRCTC hotels to a private firm.
It was alleged that Lalu Prasad Yadav, when he was Railway Minister, handed over the maintenance of two hotels run by the IRCTC a subsidiary of the Indian Railways in Ranchi and Puri to Sujata Hotel, a company owned by Vinay and Vijay Kochhar in return for a prime plot of three acres in Patna through a benami company Delight Marketing Company. When the tender was awarded to Sujata Hotel, the ownership of Delight Marketing Company, changed hands from Sarla Gupta to Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav between 2010 and 2014.
Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is in Ranchi Jail, today appeared through video conferencing before the court and could not brought from Ranchi before the court due to health reasons. He has filed bail application before the court through his counsel while CBI and ED opposed the bail plea before the court by submitting that he is an influential person and could hamper the investigation if granted bail.
CBI Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj after hearing the matter granted the interim bail to Lalu Yadav and directed the investigating agency to file the reply of bail application and fixed the matter for further hearing on January, 19.