The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will file its charge-sheet “within 45 days” in the alleged corruption case related to the railway tender scam, which involves former Railway Minister and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members. The CBI is likely to say that it has prima-facie evidence to sustain the charges of corruption levelled against Lalu Yadav and his relatives, including his wife Rabri Devi and younger son Tejashwi Yadav.
In a related development, the judgement in one of the fodder cases in which Lalu Yadav is an accused, is expected to be announced on 23 December. Depending on that judgement, Lalu Yadav may be sent to prison much before the charge-sheet in the railway tender case is filed by the CBI. The fodder scam investigation too is being probed by the CBI and after a Supreme Court order, the proceedings in this case are being held on a daily basis.
Sources aware of the development in the railway tender case said that the investigation was “almost over” and the charge-sheet was in its final stages and would be presented before the Special CBI Court “within 45 days”.
It is alleged that Lalu Prasad Yadav awarded the contract for the maintenance of two hotels in 2006, both owned by the Railways—which he headed at the time—to a private firm through a 15-year-lease. In return, the firm allegedly bought a three-acre plot of land in Patna, which was routed through a jumble of shell firms to Lalu Yadav’s children.
“We have prima-facie found the allegations of corruption to be true in the investigation, which has been done so far in the case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax (IT) department too have almost completed their investigations in the case and we are expecting that the report prepared by them will be shared with us very soon. Once we get that report, we will file the charge-sheet. There is no political pressure on us to go slow in the case, as is being insinuated by a certain section of the media,” an official source familiar with the development said.
The charge-sheet, sources said, will be filed after 5 January, when the winter session of Parliament ends.
Last week, the ED attached a three-acre plot worth Rs 45 crore in Patna, which was allegedly transferred to Lalu Yadav and his relatives as a quid-pro-quo for getting the contracts of the two hotels in 2006.
This came after the agency questioned Lalu Yadav’s wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi for six hours in the case in Patna. Their son, Tejashwi, too has been questioned twice by the ED in Delhi.
Earlier, the IT department had also attached at least 10 properties, spread across Delhi and Patna, which allegedly belong to Lalu Yadav and his family.
The CBI had filed its FIR in the case on 5 July, naming Lalu Yadav, Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav and others in the case.