CBI questions Lalu's wife Rabri Devi in Patna in IRCTC case

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CBI questions Lalu's wife Rabri Devi in Patna in IRCTC case
CBI questions Lalu's wife Rabri Devi in Patna in IRCTC case

Patna : The CBI on Tuesday questioned former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi here in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in the 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case.

Rabri Devi, the wife of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, was questioned at her residence here. The case pertains to the time Lalu Prasad was Railway Minister.

In October last year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had questioned Lalu Prasad and his younger son Tejashwi Yadav, a former Deputy Chief Minister, in the case at its Delhi headquarters.

The CBI on July 5 filed a corruption case against Rabri Devi, Lalu Prasad, and Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts of two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm.

The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar -- both named in the CBI FIR as accused -- in lieu of bribe in the form of a three-acre commercial plot at a prime location in Bihar's Patna district, the CBI said.

A preliminary CBI inquiry allegedly found that the said land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing Company and payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia, another accused in the case.

Delight Marketing, which bought the property from the Kochhars, was later taken over by Rabri Devi and Tejashwi, the CBI has alleged.

Sarla Gupta, wife of RJD chief's close associate Prem Chand Gupta and a director of Delight Marketing, is a co-accused in the case, apart from then IRCTC Managing Director P.K. Goel.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing the money laundering aspect in the case and regarding which it had on July 27 registered a separate case following the CBI FIR. The ED is probing Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transfer of money through shell companies.