The CBI has given a clean chit in a bribery case to former railway minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is out on bail since April after spending more than three years in jail, sources have said.
The Economic Offence Branch of CBI, as per sources, in January, 2018, had started a preliminary probe against him and real estate developer DLF Group over alleged corruption.
The investigation was opened on allegations that the DLF Group – eyeing rail land lease project in Mumbai’s Bandra and upgradation of New Delhi Railway Station project – had bribed former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav with a property in an upscale South Delhi locality.
It was alleged that AB Exports Private Limited, a shell company, bought a property in New Friends Colony in South Delhi for nearly Rs 5 crore in December 2007, which was funded by DLF Home Developers routed through Lexis Infotech Private Limited and few other shell companies while the actual circle rate of the said property was Rs 30 crore at that time.
In 2011, Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav, and his other family members – Chanda Yadav and Ragini Lalu – allegedly bought AB Exports Private Limited for a mere Rs 4 lakh by transfer of shares, thereby owning the plush Rs 5 crore South Delhi property.
The agency had also named Praveen Jain and Amit Katyal as intermediaries who brokered and executed the transactions between DLF Group and Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Sources in the CBI told NDTV that after two years of investigation, the “preliminary Enquiry was closed as no case has been made out of the allegations”.
Sources also added that though the Investigation Team had opined for conversion of preliminary inquiry into a regular case (FIR), citing the probe had revealed several irregularities including “antedated stamp papers, sham transactions and property transfer in favor of Yadavs at a throw away price”, senior supervising officers including former director RK Shukla ordered for closure of the case for want of evidence.
Income Tax Department too had opened a separate investigation in the case.