IRCTC hotels case: ED questions Tejashwi Yadav for over 9 hours

Former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav

The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday grilled RJD chief Lalu Prasad's son Tejashwi Yadav for over nine hours in connection with alleged irregularities in the 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case.

Tejashwi Yadav, a former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, reached the agency's headquarters on Lodhi Road in south Delhi around 11.40 a.m. He was questioned till 9.10 p.m.

"Tejashwi was questioned for over nine hours by ED officials. He was asked over 100 questions," an ED official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

The questioning comes four days after Tejashwi was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for seven hours in connection with the case.

The ED had, on July 27, registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR in the matter and began probing Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transfer of money through shell companies.

The ED has summoned Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi to appear before it on Wednesday.

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

The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar -- both named in the CBI FIR as accused -- in lieu of bribe in the form of a three-acre commercial plot at a prime location in Bihar's Patna district, the CBI said.

A preliminary CBI inquiry found that the said land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing Company and payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia, another accused person. The ED has since questioned Ahluwalia.

Delight Marketing, which bought the property from the Kochhars, was later taken over by Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav, alleges the CBI.

Sarla Gupta, wife of the RJD chief's close associate and former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta and a director of Delight Marketing, is a co-accused in the case, apart from then IRCTC Managing Director P.K. Goel.

--IANS

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