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Land-for-job scam case: ED files chargesheet against ex-Bihar CM Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti and others

As per the court's directive, the ED is required to file an electronic copy (e-copy) of the chargesheet and documents by Tuesday itself, and the matter is scheduled for cognisance on January 16.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: January 09, 2024 12:46 IST
land-for-job scam, ED chargesheet, Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti
Image Source : PTI Ex-Bihar CM Rabri Devi (L), and his daughter MP Misa Bharti.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a chargesheet in the land-for-job scam at Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday. The chargesheet includes the names of former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Hima Yadav, Hridyanand Chaudhary, and Amit Katyal. Additionally, two firms are named as accused in the chargesheet.

Court directs ED to file e-copy of chargesheet

As per the court's directive, the ED is required to file an electronic copy (e-copy) of the chargesheet and documents by Tuesday itself, and the matter is scheduled for cognisance on January 16. Amit Katyal, allegedly associated with Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav, was detained by the investigative agency in connection with the money laundering investigation into the land-for-jobs scam.

About land-for-jobs scam

The purported scam traces its origins to the period when Lalu Prasad served as the Union railway minister in the UPA-1 cabinet. The allegation suggests that between 2004 and 2009, numerous candidates were appointed to Group-D positions in various Indian Railways zones in exchange for land provided to Lalu Prasad's family and associates.

Following an initial complaint filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the ED initiated a case under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Charges against Katyal 

The Delhi High Court had refused to quash ED proceedings against Katyal, who is accused of engaging in transactions with the family members of former railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. Earlier the lawyers for Katyal had submitted that the original FIR registered on May 18, 2022, by CBI and the period of transaction is 2004-09. ED registered ECIR on August 16, 22 in relation to this. CBI has concluded the investigation and I am cited as a protected witness. My arrest is illegal and is contrary to Section 19, Lawyer argued for Katyal.

Last year in March, the ED conducted searches at 24 locations across Delhi NCR, Patna, Mumbai, and Ranchi in connection with the Railways Land-for-Job Scam, based on specific intelligence inputs. The operation led to the discovery of unaccounted cash amounting to Rs 1 Crore, foreign currency including USD 1900, 540 grams of gold bullion, and over 1.5 kg of gold jewellery (approximately valued at Rs 1.25 crore). Additionally, various incriminating documents such as property papers, sale deeds, and electronic devices were seized, pointing towards the illegal accumulation of a substantial land bank.

ED findings 

The ED revealed that the searches unveiled proceeds of crime totalling Rs 600 crore at the current stage. This includes immovable properties valued at Rs 350 crore and transactions amounting to Rs 250 crore, channelled through various benamidaars. The agency emphasized that these findings indicate a significant illicit accumulation of wealth in connection with the Railways Land-for-Job Scam.

CBI filed chargesheet 

In July last year, the CBI also filed a charge sheet against Tejashwi Yadav, his father Lalu Prasad and mother and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi in connection with the case. The charge sheet, which also names 14 others, is the second charge sheet in the case. It was filed on the basis of documents and evidence that surfaced after the first charge sheet was submitted in the case. 

(With inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ: Land-for-job scam case: ED summons Lalu Yadav, Bihar Deputy CM Tejashvi Yadav for questioning

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