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Bihar Dy CM Tejashwi Yadav questioned for about 9 hrs by ED


Published on: April 11, 2023 | Updated on: April 11, 2023

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav arrives to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the railways land-for-jobs scam, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday grilled Bihar's deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav in connection with an ongoing money laundering probe linked to the alleged land for jobs scam case.

Yadav, the 33-year-old son of RJD chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, reached the CBI's office in central Delhi in a carcade around 10.45 am and he was questioned for about nine hours, the sources said. Earlier, he was questioned by the CBI in this case on March 25, while his elder sister and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti was grilled by the ED on the same day.

The Central financial probe agency booked a separate case under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on the CBI FIR and it recorded the statement of  Yadav on Tuesday, the sources said.

Both the Central agencies recently initiated action in the case, with the CBI questioning Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi. The ED had carried out multiple raids against the RJD chief's family members on February 10 in Delhi, Bihar and other locations in the land for jobs case.

The searches covered the premises linked to Lalu Yadav’s daughters Ragini Yadav, Chanda Yadav and Hema Yadav and former RJD MLA Abu Dojana in Patna, Phulwari Sharif, Delhi-NCR, Ranchi and Mumbai, the officials in the agency said.

After the searches, the ED said that it seized "unaccounted cash" of Rs 1 crore and detected proceeds of crime worth Rs 600 crores. The agency officials said that the investigation was underway to unearth more investments made on behalf of  Yadav's family and their associates in various sectors, including real estate, at various places.

On March 15, the Delhi Rouse Avenue court granted bail to Lalu Yadav, his wife, their daughter Ms Bharti and 13 others accused in the case.

The alleged scam pertains to the period when Lalu Prasad was the railway minister in the UPA-1 government at the Centre.

Referring to a specific mention about  Yadav, the ED said a property in New Friends Colony in south Delhi, registered in the name of A.B. Exports Private Limited, has been dubbed "beneficiary firm" in this case. It added that the company is "owned and controlled" by   Yadav and his family. This house was shown to have been acquired for a mere Rs 4 lakhs, while its market value is approximately Rs 150 crores.

"It is suspected that a huge amount of cash/proceeds of crime have been infused in the purchase of this property and few Mumbai-based entities dealing in the gem and jewellery sector were used to channel ill-gotten proceeds of crime in this regard," the ED had alleged.

"On paper, the property has been declared the office of A.B. Exports Private Limited and A.K. Infosystems Private Limited, but it is being exclusively used as residential premises by  Yadav. During the searches,  Yadav was found to be staying at this house and was found to be using this house as his residential property," the ED said.

The probe agency sleuths alleged that during the period 2004–2009, various persons were appointed to Group D positions in various zones of the Indian Railways. In lieu thereof, the persons concerned transferred their land to  Yadav's family members and A.K. Infosystems Pvt Ltd.

The CBI alleges in its FIR that no advertisement or public notice was issued for the appointment, but some residents of Patna were appointed as substitutes in different zonal railways located at Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hajipur.

Denying the allegations,  Yadav, after the questioning of his parents by the CBI, told reporters that the then railway minister had "no powers" to give employment in exchange for favours.