A Delhi court on Wednesday directed Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav to appear before it on October 18 in an alleged corruption involving the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, reported PTI.
Special Judge Geetanjali Goel also granted the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader more time to file his response in the case.
The IRCTC case relates to alleged irregularities in a tender awarded to a private company called Sujata Hotels to develop and operate two railway hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2005, when Tejashwi Yadav’s father Lalu Prasad Yadav was the Union railways minister. In return, Lalu Prasad Yadav allegedly received a three-acre plot worth Rs 45 crore through a benami company owned by the wife of a Rashtriya Janata Dal parliamentarian.
The term benami refers to a transaction or contract held or carried out in the name of someone other than the person who has financed it.
The plot was also shown as agricultural land, which caused losses to the state exchequer as agricultural land is exempt from certain taxes, according to the Central Bureau of Investigation. After Lalu Yadav demitted office in 2009, the shares of the benami company were transferred to Tejashwi Yadav and his mother, former chief minister Rabri Devi between 2010 and 2014, the agency said.
On September 17, the Central Bureau of Investigation had sought cancellation of bail to Tejashwi Yadav, claiming that he warned the central agency against carrying out an investigation in the case. The Delhi court had issued a notice to the RJD leader seeking his response by September 28.
Last week, Tejashwi Yadav had alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party was using central agencies to threaten the Opposition. “I had also offered to CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax that they should come to my house and open the office. In fact, the fear of 2024 is that what has happened in Bihar will happen in the country. This has frightened the BJP,” he said.
The CBI had launched an investigation into the case in July 2017 and had filed a chargesheet against Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife and son, and 11 others in the case in April 2018. Tejashwi Yadav and his mother Rabri Devi were granted bail in the case in October 2018 while Lalu Yadav was granted bail in January 2019.