CBI revives case against Lalu Prasad closed in 2021
The CBI on Monday reopened a corruption case against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad that was closed in May 2021 for want of evidence.
Lalu Prasad’s younger son and Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and other family members are also accused in the case.
The allegation was that Lalu Prasad, who was railway minister in the UPA government, had leased out railway land at Bandra in Mumbai to real estate firm DLF and sealed a deal with it to redevelop the New Delhi railway station for personal financial gains.
The reopening of the case, which follows a flurry of CBI and income tax raids on several RJD leaders after Nitish Kumar split with the BJP and formed a new government in Bihar with the RJD, revived allegations of the central government’s misuse of investigation agencies.
RJD spokesperson Chitranjan Gagan termed the CBI action as “a part of the vendetta and negative politics of the BJP–led government at the Centre.”
“The CBI move shows the frustration and hopelessness in the BJP. It is seeing the writing on the wall and trying to indulge in these antics to make opponents afraid and spread misinformation among the people. But people have started understanding everything and will give a befitting reply to it,” Gagan told The Telegraph.
The RJD spokesperson also questioned why a case that was closed in 2021 had been revived, so soon after the ouster of the BJP from the Bihar government.
According to CBI officials, “an inquiry was initiated into the issue around the time the agency registered an FIR in 2017 in connection with alleged corruption in handing over two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri to private companies. It was closed in 2021 after no concrete evidence was found to prove the allegations.”
“One of our teams, while investigating some other cases, discovered some vital evidence and missing links that pointed towards the involvement of the accused. We have revived the Bandra land lease and New Delhi railway station redevelopment case,” a CBI source told The Telegraph.
Lalu Prasad, 74, out on bail after conviction in fodder scam cases, is recuperating in Singapore after undergoing a kidney transplant at a hospital there earlier this month.
Lalu and his family members are also accused of a ‘land for railway jobs’ scam and an IRCTC scam. The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have registered separate cases in these.