Almost a week after former railway minister Lalu Prasad and his wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi were questioned by the CBI in connection with the land-for-job scam, the duo has been summoned to appear before a Delhi court on Wednesday.
Besides the couple, their daughter Misa Bharati and 13 others have also been summoned by Special judge Geetanjali Goel. This comes as Lalu Prasad's son and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav skipped CBI's questioning in the scam for the third time on Tuesday.
According to the chargesheet filed by the CBI in the case, Lalu Prasad Yadav made illegal appointments in the railways when he was the railway minister between 2004 and 2009 in return for land parcels gifted or sold to Prasad's family.
The appointments were made in violation of the norms and procedures. The beneficiaries were posted as substitutes in Group-D posts in different zones of the railways located in Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hajipur. Their appointments were later regularised.
As a quid pro quo, the candidates, directly or through their immediate relatives and family members, sold land to Prasad and his family members and a company, AK Infosystems Private Limited. The company was subsequently taken over by the family members of Prasad.
About 1,05,292 square feet of land situated in Patna was acquired by the family through five sale deeds and two gift deeds. In most of the sale deeds, payment to the sellers was made in cash. The value of the land as per the existing circle rate was about Rs 4.39 crore, the CBI alleged.
But, the sale was carried out at highly discounted rates up to one-fifth of the prevailing market rates, the CBI said in the charge sheet.
"A perusal of the charge sheet and the documents and material on record prima facie shows the commission of offences under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy), read with sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc.), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using forged document as genuine) of the IPC and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Accordingly, cognizance is taken of the said offences," the judge had said.
The judge had noted that the charge sheet was filed without arrest in respect of the accused persons except one who is on bail at present. The only one who is arrested was Bhola Yadav, who used to be the officer on special duty (OSD) to Lalu Prasad when he was the railway minister. Bhola Yadav was arrested by the CBI last July.
The charge sheet was filed on October 10 last year for offences of criminal conspiracy and corruption against 16 accused persons. The final report also named former general manager of Central Railway Sowmya Raghavan, former CPO Railways Kamal Deep Mainrai, seven aspirants appointed as substitutes and four private individuals.