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CBI likely to register illegal assets case on Rabri Devi

Fresh trouble seems to be brewing for Rabri Devi, former Bihar chief minister and wife of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, as the CBI is contemplating registering a case of possessing disproportionate assets against her as part of the on-going probe into alleged irregularities committed in awarding tenders for development of railway hotels at Ranchi and Puri to a private company when her husband was the Union rail minister in 2006.

“Agency sleuths are scrutinising property related documents recovered during recent searches at the premises of Rabri Devi and her family members,” sources said.

Initiating proceedings under a disproportionate assets case against her and her family members cannot be ruled out, they added.

On July 5, the CBI had registered a corruption case against the RJD chief, his family members, including his wife and son Tejashwi Yadav, in connection with alleged irregularities in tenders allotted to a private company — Sujata Hotels — for development, maintenance and operation of two railway hotels, BNR Ranchi and Puri.

The agency sleuths had also conducted searches at 12 locations in Patna and Ranchi.

The premises which were searched include those of the Yadav family as well as RJD chief’s confidant Prem Chand Gupta whose wife, Sarla Gupta, has been named as an accused in the FIR.

Others named in the FIR included Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing Company, now known as Lara Projects, and then Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) managing director P.K. Goel.

There are also allegations that a nexus existed between Lalu Yadav’s family and the sand mafia, who purchased three flats from Rabri Devi in a housing complex, sources said.

Recently, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi alleged that Rabri Devi owned 18 flats and to avoid scrutiny by the income tax department and other agencies, sold three to a member of a sand mafia in June this year.

The deputy chief minister also said that with the help of RJD chief and his family members, the sand mafia allegedly acquired mining lease of sand in six districts of Bihar, including Patna, Bhojpur, Saran, Vaishali and Jehanabad for Rs 237 crore.

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