After Lalu, Tejashwi avoids CBI summons again

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) A day after RJD chief Lalu Prasad skipped the CBI probe, his son Tejashwi too did not appear before the agency on Tuesday.

The two RJD leaders were summoned over alleged irregularities in issuing contracts for two IRCTC hotels in 2006 to a private company.

Tejashwi’s lawyer in a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought 15 days time to join the investigation.

“Tejashwi’s advocate handed over a letter to us seeking two weeks more time to present before the investigators in the IRCTC case,” a CBI official said. “Tejashwi mentioned some personal and political engagements as reason for not appearing before the investigators.”

This was the second time Tejashwi did not appear before the CBI.

Tejashwi followed father Lalu Prasad who on Monday had sent his advocate with a letter to the CBI seeking two weeks time to appear before the agency.

Both father and son were on September 22 summoned by the CBI to appear on September 25 and 26 respectively to assist the agency in the investigation.

Earlier, the CBI summoned the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and his son, the former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, on September 7 to report at its headquarters in Lodhi Road area of south Delhi for questioning on September 11 and 12.

The CBI had on July 5 filed a corruption case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities when Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009.

The contracts for two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels at Ranchi and Puri were handed over to Sujata Hotels company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar in lieu of an alleged bribe in the form of a plot of prime land in Bihar, the CBI said.

According to the CBI, Lalu Prasad allegedly granted illegal favours to Sujata Hotels.

The CBI, which registered the case under charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and Prevention of Corruption Act, claimed that the kickbacks were paid through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarla Gupta, wife of RJD MP Prem Chand Gupta.

During the CBI’s preliminary inquiry, the agency purportedly found that the said land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing, and payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia.

The Enforcement Directorate, which is also probing the financial irregularities in the case, has questioned Ahluwalia and also summoned Sujata Hotels owners for questioning.

The ED had, on July 27, registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR and was probing allegations against Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transaction of money through shell companies.

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