Even as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed to have detected proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 600 crore in raids related to the land for job scam involving Lalu Yadav’s family, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav took a swipe at the financial probe agency and questioned what was the source of the raid recovery figures that it was quoting in its media statements. He said that earlier allegations were made against his family in relation to a transaction worth Rs 8,000 crore in 2017 and till date there is no proof of it.
“Remember in 2017 also, there was an alleged transaction of Rs 8,000 crore, mall worth thousands of crores, hundreds of properties. Just a few months ago the Urban Cube mall of billions of White Land Company was also founded in Gurugram. Now before bringing the new account of the alleged 600 crores, the BJP should have given the old account to its sources,” Tejashwi, who is the son of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad said in a tweet in Hindi.
His remarks came after the financial probe agency conducted searches at 24 locations in Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Bihar, including his premises in Delhi and that of his three sisters Ragiki, Hema, and Chanda Yadav. ED alleged that it recovered unaccounted cash to the tune of Rs 1 Crore and 1.5 kg of gold jewellery worth Rs 1.25 crore and several sale deeds held in the name of family members and benamidaars (unnamed person) indicating illegal accretion of huge land bank and electronic devices.
In a statement, the financial probe agency said, “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.”
The ED said, “Searches resulted in the recovery of unaccounted cash of Rs 1 crore, foreign currency including USD 1,900, 540 gms gold bullion and more than 1.5 kg of gold jewellery (worth Rs 1.25 crore approximately), 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.”
The ED also said that searches resulted in the “detection of Proceeds of Crime amounting to Rs 600 crore approximately at this point of time which is in the form of immovable properties of Rs 350 Crore and transactions of Rs 250 crore routed through various benamidaars”.
Even RJD Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Kumar Jha slammed the ED for its claims and said, “Now as per sources news is being run that ED has detected Rs 600 or Rs 700 crore proceed of crime have been detected. Are these sources of CBI or ED sitting in BJP offices or BJP people are sitting in ED or CBI offices? Remember in 2017, it was said that transaction worth Rs 8,000 crore was detected against our MP Misa Bharti. And after that a mall worth Rs 1,000 crore was also detected. And recently you all saw how a mall registered in name of someone else was said to be of Tejashwiji. The CBI has to face embarrassment following that claim,” he said.
Targeting the ruling BJP, Jha said, “The over-exited source should first complete their papers as where those Rs 8,000 crore claims, Rs 1,000 crore mall have gone? Is it only your job to defame us through your sources? Your only job is to defame anyone. The entire country and all children of Bihar are watching and you will have to face the consequences.”
During the Friday searches, Tejashwi was present in the said New Friends Colony building along with his wife Rajshree, which is registered as the address of AK infosystems, an accused in the case.
The ED also claimed that its probe has found that four parcels of lands acquired by the family of Lalu Yadav in just Rs 7.5 lakh from poor Group-D applicants. These were sold to Syed Abu Dojana, Ex-RJD MLA by former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi with huge gains at Rs 3.5 crore in a collusive deal.
“Investigation further revealed that a major portion of the amount thus received, was transferred to the account of Tejashwi Yadav, son of former Bihar CMs Lalu and Rabri,” the ED said.
The ED also alleged that its probe 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 Railways Zones, more than 50 percent of recruited candidates were from Lalu Yadav families’ constituencies. Further investigation in this regard is ongoing,” it said.
“The investigation is underway to unearth more investments made on behalf of Lalu Yadav’s family and their associates in various sectors, including real estate at various places,” the ED said. It also pointed out that while carrying out the searches, all legal formalities were fully observed and due courtesy was extended to the women, children, and senior citizens present at the search premises. Following the ED searches at Tejashwi and his sister’s residence in Delhi, former Railway Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav slammed the BJP.
A Delhi court last month also summoned Lalu Prasad, the former Railway Minister, his wife, and several others in connection with the case on March 15.
Lalu Prasad had gone to Singapore for a kidney transplant last year in December and returned to India in the third week of February. His daughter Rohini Acharya has donated her kidney to Lalu Prasad, who is also a former Bihar Chief Minister.
He is currently out on bail in a fodder scam case.
The government had recently given its nod to prosecute Lalu in connection with the land for job scam case earlier this year.
In October last year, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Lalu, Rabri Devi, and Misa Bharti in connection with the land for job scam case.
The agency has also named 13 more people in its charge sheet.
According to CBI sources, during the investigation carried out so far and during the agency searches in August last year, the CBI recovered over 200 sale deeds.
The source said that many candidates would have given their land to get jobs
CBI had registered a fresh case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, his other daughter Hema Yadav and others in May this year.
The CBI had also carried out searches at multiple locations in Delhi, Patna, Gopalganj, Gurugram, and others in connection with the case in May last year after registering a fresh case.