Land-for-job case: Delhi court grants regular bail to ex-Bihar CM Rabri Devi, daughters

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday granted regular bail to former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief LaluPrasad’s wife Rabri Devi and her daughters — Misa Bharti and Hema Yadav — in a money laundering case pertaining to the alleged land-for-job scam matter.

The accused were presented before Special Judge Vishal Gogne of Rouse Avenue Court on expiry of their interim bail, which was granted on February 9.

The court had taken cognisance of the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s first charge sheet on January 27.

On Wednesday, Judge Gogne granted them and co-accused Hridyanand Chaudhary bail saying that they were not arrested during the probe, and that there is no doubt of accused fleeing from the law.

Appearing for the financial probe agency, special public prosecutor (SPP) Manish Jain along with Snehal Sharda submitted that if the bail is granted, strict conditions may be imposed in view of the gravity of the allegations.

The court, however, gave them relief on furnishing of bail bond of Rs one lakh and surety in the like amount.

The court had, on February 5, granted till March 4 interim bail on medical grounds to Amit Katyal, an alleged close associate of former Union Minister Lalu Prasad’s family, who has also been named along with some companies in the charge sheet.

Katyal, promoter of AK Infosystems, was arrested in November last year by the central probe agency.

The court recently sought a reply from the CBI on an application moved by leader Lalu Prasad, his son and wife seeking supply of documents filed along with the charge sheet.

The court had asked the CBI to file a reply on pleas of eight accused seeking supply of deficient documents.

On October 3 last year, the court had granted bail to Lalu Prasad, son and wife in the case.

On September 22, 2023, the court took cognisance of a fresh charge sheet by the CBI against Lalu Prasad and others, including his son and wife. Since the probe agency did not oppose the bail, Additional Sessions Judge Geetanjali Goel granted bail.

The ED had earlier said that it has attached assets worth more than Rs 6 crore belonging to Lalu Prasad’s family — his wife Rabri Devi and daughter Misa Bharti — and linked companies as part of its money laundering investigation against them in the case.

The CBI had registered the case on May 18, 2022 against Lalu Prasad and 15 others, including his wife, two daughters and unidentified public servants and private persons.

“During the period 2004-2009, Lalu Prasad (then Railway Minister) had obtained pecuniary advantages in the form of transfer of landed property in the name of his family members in lieu of appointment of substitutes in Group ‘D’ posts in different Zones of Railways,” a CBI official had earlier said.

A number of residents of Patna themselves or through their family members sold and gifted their land in favour of the family members of Lalu Prasad and a private company controlled by him and his family.

“No advertisement or any public notice was issued for such appointment of substitutes in Zonal Railways, yet the appointees, who were residents of Patna, were appointed as substitutes in different Zonal Railways located in Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hajipur.

“In continuation of this modus operandi, about 1,05,292 sq. ft. land and immovable properties located in Patna were acquired by Lalu Prasad and his family members through five sales deeds and two gift deeds, showing the payment made to the seller in cash in most of the land transfer,” the CBI had said.

IANS

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