April 16: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed a charge sheet against former railway minister Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi including two companies and 12 others as part of an investigation in the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotel tender case.
As a quid pro quo, he "dishonestly and fraudulently" awarded the contract to them for the two hotels, the FIR had alleged.
Earlier the CBI had conducted a raid at the residence of Rabri Devi in connection with the same case. These note-sheets, statements of Lalu, Rabri Devi and Tejashwi, railway and IRCTC officials and private persons have been included in the chargesheet.
The CBI investigation had also revealed that Lalu Yadav, who was the then railway minister, knew about the transfer of the BNR Hotels for its management at Ranchi and Puri, and allegedly conspired with the officials of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
The CBI also charge-sheeted former GGM of IRCTC V.K. Asthana, R.K. Gogia - then GGM (company secretary) of IRCTC, Ramesh Saxena - then IRCTC Director and Sujata Hotels Pvt Ltd.
CBI further alleged that Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia promoter of Ahluwalia Contracts bought shares of a shell company, Delight Marketing Private Limited, and this is how Delight Marketing purchased the land.
IRCTC was created by railways in 1999.
As soon as this was done, Lalu Yadav and PK Goel got two BNR hotels transferred to Sujata/Chankaya Hotels through a rigged and manipulated tender process. CBI has alleged that as railway minister, Lalu was aware about the whole process and was keeping a track of the tender proceedings. The property was first sold to "front company" Delight Marketing, which was later taken over by Prasad's family members.
It surfaced that while over 15 bid documents were received for both the hotels, IRCTC has no records of bidders other than Sujata Hotels. After the tender was awarded to Sujata Hotels, the ownership of Delight marketing also changed hands from Sarla Gupta to Rabri Devi and Tejaswi Yadav between 2010 and 2014.
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