Lalu's son-in-law evades ED summons in money laundering case
New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) Rahul Yadav, son-in-law of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, on Wednesday evaded the Enforcement Directorate summons for questioning over a Rs 1 crore loan he had given to his mother-in-law Rabri Devi in connection with an ongoing probe into the 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case, officials said.
An ED official told IANS that Rahul Yadav did not depose before the agency for questioning during the day.
The official said the agency will issue a new date for questioning soon.
The ED has asked Rahul Yadav, husband of Lalu Prasad's fourth daughter Ragini Yadav, to appear before it at its headquarters in south Delhi's Khan Market area.
The financial probe agency wanted to question Rahul Yadav to know the source of the money given to Rabri Devi as it suspects that it may have been used to buy a three-acre plot in Patna.
The three-acre land worth Rs 45 crore in Bihar's Patna was attached by the agency on December 8 in connection with the money laundering case against Lalu Prasad and his family members.
According to agency officials, the case pertains to alleged money laundering of funds by Delight Marketing Private Ltd. The officials suspect that the money was used to buy shares of Delight Marketing between 2010-11 and 2012-13.
The ED is probing financial irregularities in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Lalu Prasad, his son Tejashwi Yadav and other family members.
On July 27, the ED had registered a case under the PMLA following an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and is probing the trail of funds allegedly transferred through shell companies.
The CBI registered a corruption case on July 5 against Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts for two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm when the RJD chief was Railway Minister.
The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar, allegedly in lieu of bribe in the form of a plot of prime land in Bihar, the CBI said.
According to the CBI, by 2014, Delight Marketing's shares were taken over completely by Lalu Prasad's family members for just Rs 64 lakh, against the circle rate of Rs 32.5 crore for the property and market value of Rs 94 crore.
The company's name was later changed to Lara Projects and then turned into a limited liability partnership firm.
Apart from Ahluwalia Contractors' promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia, who has also been questioned in the case, former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta's wife Sarla Gupta and then IRCTC Managing Director P.K. Goel are also accused in the case.
In a separate case of money laundering, the financial probe agency has questioned Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti, a Rajya Sabha member, and her husband Shailesh Kumar several times.