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Land for job money laundering case: Court issues summons to Rabri Devi and daughters Misa, Hema

The Rouse Avenue court on Saturday issued summons to former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Hema Yadav, Hridyanand Chaudhary and other accused in the Land for Job money laundering case.

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misa, hema, rabri devi, lalu prasad, ed, enforcement directorate, bihar

The Rouse Avenue court on Saturday issued summons to former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Hema Yadav, Hridyanand Chaudhary and other accused in the Land for Job money laundering case. Special Judge Vishal Gogne issued summons to the accused persons after taking cognizance of the charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The court issued a production warrant to produce Amit Katyal on the next date of hearing.

Two firms, namely A K Infosystem and A B Export, have also been accused in this case. Cognizance has been taken against these firms. The next date of hearing is February 9.

While taking cognizance of the charge sheet, the court said that there is sufficient ground to take cognizance. ED had submitted that in 2006-07, AK Infosystem was formed by Amit Katyal and its business was IT data analysis. No real business was done. Instead, several land parcels were bought by the company. One land parcel pertains to the main predicate offence, which is land for a job.

This company was transferred in the name of Rabri Devi and Tejaswi Yadav in 2014 for the consideration of Rs one lakh, ED submitted. Advocate Manish Jain, special public prosecutor (SPP) for the ED submitted that Amit Katyal is only arrested as an accused.

Other accused are Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Hema Yadav, AK Infosystem, AB Export, and Hridyanand Chaudhary. On January 9, the ED filed a prosecution complaint (charge sheet) in Land for a job scam money laundering case.

ED has named Bihar’s ex-CM Rabri Devi, her daughters Misa Bharti and Hema Yadav, Hridyanand Chaudhary, and Amit Katyal. Two firms, AB Export and AK Infosystems, have also been accused. SPP Jain submitted that Amit Katyal was the director of AK Infosystem. Rabri Devi is also accused of a predicate offence in a CBI case. Misa Bharti is accused of the predicate offence. Hridyanand Chaudhary is also accused of a predicate offence and was arrested.

Advocate Manish Jain and Ishan Baisla also submitted that AB Export was supposed to be in the business of export. It was incorporated in 1996. In 2007, Rs five crore came through five companies, and a property in the New Friends colony was purchased. In this case, seven land parcels are involved. Out of these, Rabri, Hema Yadav, and Misa Bharti got land parcels. Later on, they sold out their land parcels.

ED’s Special Public Prosecutors Manish Jain and advocate Ishan Baisla had apprised the court that the Yadav family members are beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime. Katyal has been arrested and is in custody. The other accused persons have been charge-sheeted without arrest.

Katyal’s firm was chargesheeted in the CBI case as well. On November 23, 2023, the Rouse Avenue Court sent businessman Amit Katyal, promoter of AK Infosystems, to judicial custody.

He was arrested by the ED in an alleged land-for-jobs scam case. Katyal is said to be a close aide of former railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. The Delhi High Court had refused to quash Enforcement Directorate (ED) proceedings against Amit Katyal, who is accused of engaging in transactions with the family members of former railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Earlier, the lawyers for Katyal had submitted the original FIR registered on May 18, 2022, by the CBI, and the period of the transaction was 2004-09. ED registered ECIR on August 16, 2022, in relation to this. The CBI has concluded the investigation, and I am cited as a protected witness. My arrest is illegal and is contrary to Section 19. The lawyer argued for Katyal. According to the ED in March, based on the specific intelligence inputs, searches were conducted at 24 locations at various places in Delhi NCR, Patna, Mumbai, and Ranchi in the Railways Land for Job Scam, which resulted in the recovery of unaccounted cash of Rs 1 crore, foreign currency including USD 1900, 540 gms gold bullion, and more than 1.5 kg of gold jewellery (about Rs 1.25 crores), several other incriminating documents, including various property documents, sale deeds, etc., held in the names of family members and benamidaars, indicating illegal accretion of huge land bank and electronic devices.

Searches resulted in the detection of proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 600 crore at this point in time, which are in the form of immovable properties of Rs 350 crore and transactions of Rs 250 crore routed through various benamidaars, ED stated. According to the ED PMLA investigation conducted so far, several pieces of land at prominent locations in Patna and other areas were illegally acquired by the family of the then Rail Minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav, in lieu of jobs provided by railways. The current market value of these land parcels is more than Rs 200 crore. In this regard, several benamidars, shell entities, and beneficial owners of these lands have been identified.

Further, investigation under PMLA revealed that the property situated at New Friends Colony, Delhi (an independent 4-story bungalow registered in the name of M/s A B Exports Private Limited, a company owned and controlled by Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and his family) was shown to have been acquired at a value of mere Rs 4 lakhs, the present market value of which is approximately Rs 150 crore. It is suspected that a huge amount of cash or proceeds from crime has been infused into purchasing this property, and a few Mumbai-based entities dealing in the gems and jewellery sector were used to channel the ill-gotten proceeds of crime in this regard. The property has been, on paper, declared as the offices of M/s A B Exports Private Limited and M/s AK Infosystems Pvt ltd, It is being exclusively used as residential premises by Tejasvi Prasad Yadav, son of Lalu Prasad Yadav. During the searches, Tejasvi Prasad Yadav was found to be staying at this house and was found to be using this house as his residential property. An ED investigation has found that four parcels of land acquired by the family of Lalu Yadav for just Rs 7.5 lakhs from poor Group-D applicants were sold to Syed Abu Dojana, ex-RJD MLA, by Mrs. Rabri Devi with huge gains of Rs 3.5 crore in a collusive deal. The ED investigation further revealed that a major portion of the amount thus received was transferred to the account of Sh. Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.Investigations revealed that, in a similar fashion, lands were taken from several poor parents and candidates in lieu of Group D jobs in the railways. It has been revealed during the investigation that in many railway zones, more than 50 percent of the recruited candidates were from Lalu Yadav families’ constituencies, according to ED. 

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