RJD leader Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi, today appeared before the Enforcement Directorate or ED in connection with a money laundering investigation in the railway hotels allotment corruption case, official sources said today.
They said the statement of the former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister was recorded by the investigating officer at the Enforcement Directorate office, shortly after 11 am today.
This is the second time Tejashwi Yadav is being questioned by the central probe agency in this case. He was last questioned by the agency on October 10 and was questioned for over nine hours.
Since then, Tejashwi has skipped four appearances and has appeared today as part of a fresh summon, they said.
The agency had registered a case against Lalu Prasad, his family members and others under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act or PMLA.
Tejashwi’s mother and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi has skipped the Enforcement Directorate’s summons at least six times till now.
In July, the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI had registered an FIR and conducted multiple searches on the properties of Lalu Yadav and others.
The CBI FIR has alleged that Lalu Prasad during his tenure as the railway minister handed over the maintenance of two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels to a company in 2004 after receiving a bribe in the form of a prime land in Patna through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarla Gupta, wife of Prem Chand Gupta, a former Union minister.
The Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case against his family members and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act or PMLA, based on the CBI FIR.
The CBI also recently recorded the statements of Tejashwi and Lalu Yadav in this case.
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies, according to officials.
Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director PK Goel.
The CBI FIR was registered on July 5 in connection with favours allegedly extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as ‘quid pro quo’.