The CBI has issued fresh summonses to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav for questioning in connection with alleged graft in giving maintenance contracts of two IRCTC hotels to a private firm.
According to CBI sources, Lalu, a former railway minister, has been asked to appear on September 25, and Tejashwi the next day. They had earlier been called on September 11 and 12 but Lalu did not turn up, citing an ongoing court case in Ranchi where his presence was required, while Tejashwi claimed he had political commitments to take care of.
The CBI has alleged that Lalu, as railway minister, handed over maintenance of two hotels run by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, in Ranchi and Puri to Sujata Hotel, a company owned by Vinay and Vijay Kochhar, in return for a prime plot of three acres in Patna through a benami company.
The FIR alleged that Lalu, as the railway minister, abused his official position for extending undue favours to Kochhars, acquired a "high value premium land" through a benami firm Delight Marketing Company, and as a quid pro quo, "dishonestly and fraudulently" managed award of leasing of the two hotels.
The CBI has registered the case against Lalu, his wife Rabri Devi, a former Bihar chief minister, son Tejashwi, who was deputy CM until a few months ago, and Sarla Gupta, wife of Prem Chand Gupta, a former union minister. Others named as accused in the FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar, both directors of Sujata Hotels and owner of Chanakya Hotel, Delight Marketing Company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director P K Goel.