Land-for-jobs case: ED files chargesheet against Lalu Prasad Yadav's family

His wife, former Bihar CM Rabri Devi; their daughter, RJD Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti; and their two other daughters, Chanda Yadav and Ragini Yadav, have been questioned

The family of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav (pictured alone left) is being charged in the land-for-jobs case by the Enforcement Directorate (photo: IANS)
The family of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav (pictured alone left) is being charged in the land-for-jobs case by the Enforcement Directorate (photo: IANS)


The ED (Enforcement Directorate) on Tuesday, 9 January, filed its first chargesheet in the railways land-for-jobs case.

The ED has named, in connection with its money-laundering investigation, former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi (who is also the wife of former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav) and her daughter Misa Bharti, a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP, official sources said.

Another of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughters, Hema Yadav; an alleged "close associate" of the Yadav family, Amit Katyal; railway employee and alleged beneficiary Hridayanand Chaudhary; two firms, namely, A.K. Infosystems Pvt Ltd and A.B. Exports Pvt Ltd, through their common director Shariqul Bari have also been named in the chargesheet.

The complaint against a total of seven accused has been filed before a special PMLA court in Delhi. The court, which deals with cases that fall under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, has listed the matter to be heard on 16 January, sources said.

Katyal was arrested in this case by the ED in November 2023, while Lalu Prasad Yadav was summoned by the agency but is yet to depose.

However, Lalu's son, Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, has deposed once before the agency. He has been asked to appear again before it.

Rabri Devi, RJD Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti and two more of the latter's sisters—Chanda Yadav and Ragini Yadav—have also been questioned in this case.

The alleged scam pertains to the period when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the railway minister in the UPA-1 government.

It is alleged that from 2004 to 2009, several people were appointed to Group D positions in various zones of the Indian Railways and, in lieu, these people transferred their land to the family members of then-railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and the company A.K. Infosystems, which is linked to his family.

A.K. Infosystems is allegedly a "beneficiary company" in the case and its registered address in South Delhi's New Friend's Colony was being used by Tejashwi Yadav, the ED had said earlier. Katyal has also been a director of this company, as per the agency.

A.B. Exports Pvt Ltd is also alleged to be a shell company or fake company owned by Tejashwi Yadav and Chanda Yadav, with its registered address being the same New Friend's Colony bungalow.

The ED has also alleged that Rabri Devi and Hema Yadav sold four land parcels "illegally" acquired from appointees in the Railways to Meridian Construction India Ltd, a company related to Syed Abu Dojana, a former RJD MLA, and the "proceeds of crime" so obtained by Rabri Devi and Hema Yadav were further transferred through a maze of transactions to A.B. Exports and Bhagirathi Tubes respectively.

"Rabri Devi and Hema Yadav sold these land parcels for Rs 3.5 crore against the acquisition cost of Rs 7.5 lakh, thus deriving huge gains," the ED had earlier claimed.

The agency, in the chargesheet, has requested the court to prosecute the accused for the offence of money laundering and has sought the confiscation of assets attached by it in this case earlier.

The money-laundering case, filed under the criminal sections of the PMLA, stems from a complaint lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI had filed a chargesheet in this case earlier.

Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav have been granted bail by a trial court in October in the CBI case.

According to the CBI, no advertisement or public notice was issued for appointment, but some residents of Patna were appointed as substitutes in different zonal railways in Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hazipur.

As a quid pro quo, the candidates, directly or through their immediate family members, allegedly sold land to Prasad's family members at highly discounted rates, up to one-fourth to one-fifth of the prevailing market rates, the CBI alleged.

Assets worth more than Rs 6 crore belonging to Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti and linked companies were attached by the ED last year as part of this investigation.

The agency had raided the premises of Chanda Yadav, Ragini Yadav, Hema Yadav, and Abu Dojana in Patna, Phulwari Sharif, Delhi-NCR, Ranchi and Mumbai in March 2023.

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