The Patiala House Court in New Delhi on Thursday granted interim bail to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in connection with cases filed against him in connection with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation scam, ANI reported.
Moments before announcing the decision, the court adjourned the hearing of the case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation till January 19. The court adjourned the hearing to allow detailed scrutiny of documents.
In the previous hearing on November 19, the court had directed Yadav to appear through videoconferencing and had asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to make all arrangements to ensure his presence either from hospital or jail. Special Judge Arun Bharadwaj had issued the directive after he was told that Yadav was unable to appear before the court due to ill health.
Yadav, who is serving time in jail after his conviction in three fodder scam cases, had also not appeared for the hearing before that, reportedly on the advice of his doctors. The court had granted bail to his wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, and their son former Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav in the IRCTC scam case in October.
The 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 Lalu Prasad Yadav was the Union railways minister. In return, he 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 Enforcement Directorate registered a criminal case against the accused under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act based on a First Information Report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in April.
In August, the directorate filed its first chargesheet against Yadav, Rabri Devi and others. It also named Tejashwi Yadav, former Union minister Prem Chand Gupta and his wife Sarla Gupta, a company Lara Projects (earlier known as Delight Marketing Private Limited), and 10 others.
The CBI has also filed a chargesheet against Yadav, his wife and son, and 11 others in the case.