Lalu in fresh trouble, ED summons son-in-law

New Delhi, Jan 16  In connection with its ongoing probe into the 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case, the Enforcement Directorate has summoned RJD chief Lalu Prasad's son-in-law Rahul Yadav for questioning on Wednesday over a Rs 1 crore loan he had given to his mother-in-law Rabri Devi.

The ED wants to know the source of the money given to Rabri Devi, suspecting that it may have been used to buy a three-acre plot in Patna.

The land worth Rs 45 crore was attached by the agency on December 8 in connection with the money laundering case against Lalu Prasad and his family members. 

"We have summoned Rahul Yadav tomorrow (Wednesday) for questioning over the loan given to Rabri Devi," an ED official told IANS on Tuesday.

"We want to know the source of the money... that was given as loan to Rabri Devi," the official said.

Rahul Yadav married Lalu Prasad's daughter Ragini Yadav in 2013.

According to the agency officials, the case pertains to alleged money laundering of funds by Delight Marketing Private Ltd. The officials suspect that the same money was used to buy the shares of Delight Marketing between 2010-11 and 2012-13.

The ED is probing financial irregularities in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Lalu Yadav, his son Tejashwi Yadav and other family members.

On July 27, the ED had registered a case under the PMLA following an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and is probing the trail of funds allegedly transferred through shell companies. 

The CBI registered a corruption case on July 5 against Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts for two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm when the RJD chief was Railway Minister.

The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar, allegedly in lieu of bribe in the form of a plot of prime land in Bihar, the CBI said.

According to the CBI, by 2014, Delight Marketing's shares were taken over completely by Lalu Prasad's family members for just Rs 64 lakh, against the circle rate of Rs 32.5 crore for the property and market value of Rs 94 crore. 

The company's name was later changed to Lara Projects and then turned into a limited liability partnership firm. 

Apart from Ahluwalia Contractors' promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia, who has also been questioned in the case, former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta's wife Sarla Gupta and then IRCTC Managing Director P.K. Goel are also accused in the case.

In a separate case of money laundering, the financial probe agency has questioned Lalu Prasad's Rajya Sabha Member daughter Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar several times.



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