New Delhi: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav Tuesday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the alleged land-for-jobs scam case.
The 33-year-old Yadav, the son of RJD chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, reached the federal agency’s office in central Delhi in a carcade around 10:45 AM.
He was questioned by the CBI in this case last month.
The ED 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 Tejashwi Yadav Tuesday, sources said.
Tejashwi Yadav’s MP sister Misa Bharti was also questioned by the ED in this case March 25, the same day he had deposed before the CBI.
Both the central agencies recently initiated action in the case, with the CBI questioning Lalu Prasad and his wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi and the ED carrying out raids against the RJD chief’s family.
The ED, after the searches, said it seized “unaccounted cash” of Rs 1 crore and detected proceeds of crime worth Rs 600 crore.
It said the investigation was underway to unearth more investments made on behalf of Prasad’s family and their associates in various sectors, including real estate, at various places.
The alleged scam pertains to the period when Prasad was the railway minister in the UPA-1 government at the Centre.
Making a specific mention about Tejaswi Yadav, the ED had said a property situated at D-1088, New Friends Colony in south Delhi is an independent four-storeyed bungalow registered in the name of A B Exports Private Limited.
This company has been called a “beneficiary firm” in this case.
The ED had said this company is “owned and controlled” by Tejashwi Yadav and his family and this house was shown to have been acquired at a value of mere Rs 4 lakh while the present market value of which is approximately Rs 150 crore.
“It is suspected that a huge amount of cash/proceeds of crime has been infused in purchasing this property and few Mumbai based entities, dealing in the gems and jewellery sector were used to channel ill-gotten proceeds of crime in this regard,” the ED had alleged.
“The property has been though, on paper, declared as an office of A B Exports Private Limited and AK Infosystems Pvt ltd, it is being exclusively used as residential premises by Tejaswi Prasad Yadav, son of Lalu Prasad Yadav.
“During the searches, Tejaswi Prasad Yadav was found to be staying at this house and was found to be using this house as his residential property,” the ED said.
It is alleged that during the period 2004-09, various persons were appointed to Group D positions in various zones of the Indian Railways, and in lieu, the persons concerned transferred their land to the family members of Prasad, the then minister of railways, and A K Infosystems Pvt Ltd.
It is alleged by the CBI 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 Hazipur.
As a quid pro quo, the candidates, directly or through their immediate family members, allegedly sold land to the family members of Prasad at highly discounted rates, up to one-fourth to one-fifth of the prevailing market rates, the CBI had alleged.
Denying the allegations, Tejashwi Yadav, after the questioning of his parents by the CBI, had told reporters that the then railway minister Prasad had “no powers” to give employment in exchange for favours.