Land for job scam case: ED questions Lalu’s daughter Ragini

Move comes a day after agency questioned her brother and Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav

NEW DELHI | Updated: 12 April, 2023 8:57 pm IST
ED questioned Ragini Yadav in land for job scam case

A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, the financial probe agency on Wednesday, April 12, also questioned his sister Ragini Yadav in connection with the alleged land for job scam case.

The fresh action is being seen as the ED tightening the noose around RJD supremo and former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family in connection with the case.

Ragini Yadav was summoned by the agency for questioning in connection with the case.

“She appeared before the agency and her statement is being recorded by the ED sleuths,” an ED source said.

The development comes a day after Tejashwi Yadav was questioned for over eight and a half hours by the ED in connection with the case on Tuesday.

Earlier, the ED also recorded the statement of Ragini’s sister Misa Bharti in connection with the case on March 25 this year.

On March 25, Tejashwi Yadav was questioned by the CBI at its headquarters here in connection with the case.

The CBI had also questioned their father, former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, and their mother, former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, in connection with the case.

The ED, meanwhile, had carried out searches on March 10 at 24 locations linked to Lalu Prasad and his relatives in Delhi, Patna, Ranchi, Mumbai and other places in connection with the case.

After marathon searches for over 14 hours, the ED said that it recovered unaccounted cash to the tune of sale deeds and of ₹1 crore and 1.5 kg of gold jewellery worth ₹1.25 crores, as well as several sale deeds held in the name of family members and benamidaars, indicating illegal accretion of a 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.”

“Searches resulted in the recovery of unaccounted cash of ₹1 crore, foreign currency including $1,900, 540 grammes of gold bullion and more than 1.5 kg of gold jewellery (worth ₹ 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,” ED had said.

The ED also said that searches resulted in the “detection of Proceeds of Crime amounting to ₹600 crores approximately at this point in time, which are in the form of immovable properties worth ₹350 crores and transactions worth ₹250 crores routed through various benamidaars”.

It further said that the probe in the money laundering case so far has revealed that several pieces of land at prominent locations in Patna and other areas were illegally acquired by the family of the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in lieu of jobs provided in the railways.

“The current market value of these land parcels is more than ₹200 crores. In this regard, several benamidars, shell entities and beneficial owners for these lands have been identified,” the ED had said on March 11.

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 on 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 must have given up their land to get jobs.

The 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.

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