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Ex-employee of Rabri Devi's 'gaushala' took property as bribe from railway job aspirant: ED

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New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) A former employee at the 'gaushala' of RJD chief Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi acquired a property from a railway job aspirant and later transferred it to the ex-Bihar chief minister's daughter Hema Yadav, the ED, which is probing the land-for-jobs case, alleged Monday.

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The central agency had filed a charge-sheet early this month before a Delhi court naming Lalu Prasad's family members Rabri Devi and her daughters Misa Bharti and Hema Yadav as accused, apart from some others.

In the charge-sheet, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also named Amit Katyal (49), an alleged "close associate" of Lalu Prasad and his family members, Hridayanand Chaudhary, an alleged beneficiary of the scam and the former 'gaushala' employee, and two firms -- A K Infosystems Pvt. Ltd. and A B Exports Pvt. Ltd. -- through their common director Shariqul Bari.

The Delhi court took cognisance of the charge-sheet last week and issued notices to the accused to appear before it on February 9 for commencement of trial against them under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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Katyal was arrested by the ED in November last year for "knowingly assisting Lalu Prasad and his family in money laundering". He is currently lodged in a jail under judicial custody.

On Monday, the ED questioned and recorded the statement of Lalu Prasad, 75, at its Patna office as part of its probe into the case.

His son and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav has been called for questioning in the case on Tuesday in Patna.

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The probe pertains to the allegation that Lalu Prasad, during his tenure as the railway minister in the UPA-1 government at the Centre, indulged in corruption for appointment of Group-D substitutes in the Indian Railways during 2004-2009.

The candidates were told to "transfer land as bribe" in return for jobs in the railways, according to a CBI FIR and the charge-sheet, the ED said in a statement. The money laundering case is based on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) complaint.

"The family members of Lalu Prasad -- Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Hema Yadav -- who were made accused in the prosecution complaint had received land parcel(s) from families of candidates (who were selected as Group-D substitutes in the Indian Railways) for nominal amounts," the ED said.

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"Hridyanand Chaudhary, another accused named in the charge-sheet, is a former employee of the 'gaushala' of Rabri Devi who had acquired the property from one of the candidates and later transferred the same to Hema Yadav," it said.

Companies A K Infosystems Private Limited and A B Exports Pvt. Ltd. were "shell" companies which received proceeds of crime for family members of Lalu Prasad, the ED said, adding that immovable properties were acquired in the said companies by "front men".

Later, the ED claimed, shares were transferred to family members of Lalu Prasad for nominal amounts.

Katyal used to "manage" these companies for Lalu Prasad and his family members. PTI NES ANB ANB

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