Land for jobs scam: CBI files final charge sheet against Lalu, 77 others

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New Delhi, Jun 7 (PTI) The CBI on Friday filed its final charge sheet against former railway minister Lalu Prasad in connection with the land for jobs scam in which his family allegedly received land parcels from ineligible candidates appointed in various Railways zones as 'substitutes', the officials said.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, the CBI submitted its third and final charge sheet before special judge (MP/MLA Cases) here against 78 accused, including Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tej Pratap Yadav who has been charge sheeted for the first time, daughter Hema Yadav, former OSD Bhola Yadav and one former staff member of the RJD chief, they said.

Tej Pratap Yadav has been charge sheeted for the first time.

The CBI has invoked IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy along with cheating and forgery among others, and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the accused.

The list of accused included 29 Railways officials, 37 candidates and six other private persons, they said.

During the investigation, the CBI found that Lalu Prasad, in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy along with officers of Railways, his family members and others, engaged candidates as Group D substitutes in 11 zones of Indian Railways in complete violation of the extant guidelines, the CBI spokesperson said.

He said this was done in return for the transfer of land by the candidate himself or his family members.

The candidates also submitted fake educational certificates to become eligible for these positions, they said.

"Candidates who were engaged as substitutes in different zones of Railways were mainly from the districts which were the constituencies of then Union railway minister and his family members since long," the spokesperson said in a statement.

On July 3 last year, the CBI had charge sheeted the then deputy chief minister of Bihar and Lalu Prasad's son Tejashwi Yadav in the case.

The agency 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.

The CBI had filed the first charge sheet in the case in October, 2022.

During the probe, the agency had found a hard disk at 10 Circular Road, Patna, which was used by Lalu Prasad as his camp office. The hard disk contained a list of 1,458 candidates who were engaged in the Railways during his tenure, the agency had claimed.

"During investigation, it was found that then Union Minister of Railways (Lalu Prasad Yadav), with an intent to acquire the land parcels situated at the places where his family was already owning land parcels or the places which were already connected to him, entered into a conspiracy with associates and family members and allegedly devised a design to grab the land of various land owners by offering/providing Group D employment in Railways," a CBI spokesperson said.

He said the accused had allegedly collected applications and documents of such candidates through associates and then sent those to the Railways for processing and providing them jobs.

The candidates were allegedly appointed as 'substitutes' in Group D positions within three days of applying in "undue haste" by the Railways officials and were later regularised when the "individuals themselves or their family members transferred their land", according to the CBI.

In its second charge sheet, the agency had alleged that in order to hide any links between the jobs provided and land purchased, some land parcels were bought in the name of A K Infosystems.

A land parcel was purchased in the name of A K Infosystems for Rs 10.83 lakh in 2007. Subsequently, this land along with some other land parcels purchased by the company were brought under the ownership of Tejashwi Yadav and his mother through transfer of shares at Rs 1 lakh only, the agency had alleged last year.

"At the time of transfer, the company was allegedly owning land parcels purchased at a total cost of Rs 1.77 crore (approx) and it was transferred for a meagre Rs 1 lakh (approx) only. However, the market value of the lands were much more," the spokesperson had said after the filing of second charge sheet last year.

The payments for the land parcels were mostly shown to be made in cash, while there were also instances of transfer of land through gift deeds, the agency had alleged.

The CBI had also alleged that a 1.05 lakh square feet plot in Patna was acquired by Lalu Prasad's family members by making payments to the sellers in cash. PTI ABS KSS KSS

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