IRCTC hotel lease scam: CBI issues fresh summons to Lalu Prasad, Tejashwi

RJD Chief Lalu Prasad with former Bihar CM and Rabri Devi, deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and Health Minister Tej Pratap

The CBI on Tuesday issued fresh summons - third in this month - to RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav in the ongoing probe into alleged irregularities in IRCTC hotels' contract case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) asked both to visit its headquarters on Lodhi Road in south Delhi on October 3 and 4, respectively, to join investigation in the case, an official said.

The CBI's latest move comes after Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi skipped two earlier summons.

On September 22, the CBI issued summons to the two Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders for September 25 and 26, respectively, for questioning, but they, by a written letter through their advocates, sought two weeks' time.

The CBI had summoned the former Bihar Chief Minister and son Tejashwi, who is a former Deputy Chief Minister, on September 7 as well for questioning on September 11 and 12.

The CBI had, 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 at Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private company when Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009.

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

According to the CBI, Lalu Prasad allegedly granted illegal favours to Sujata Hotels.

The CBI, which registered the case under charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and the Prevention of Corruption Act, claimed that the kickbacks were paid through a 'benami' company owned by Sarla Gupta, wife of RJD MP Prem Chand Gupta.

The CBI preliminary inquiry allegedly found that the said land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing, and payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia.

The Enforcement Directorate, which is also probing the financial irregularities in the case, has questioned Ahluwalia and also summoned Sujata Hotels owners for questioning.

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

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