New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday informed Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court that it will be filing a supplementary chargesheet in two to three weeks in the land-for-job alleged scam case.
The Special Judge Geetanjali Goel on Wednesday while hearing the matter also directed CBI to provide a chargesheet copy filed earlier to all accused in the case. The Court has fixed May 8, 2023, in the matter. Bihar’s former CM Rabri Devi along with RJD MP Misa Bharti also attended the court proceedings in connection with the land-for-job scam case on Wednesday. Former Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav sought exemption from appearance due to medical issues.
On March 15, the same Court granted regular bail to Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi, their daughter- Misa Bharti, and other accused in the case.
The Special Judge Geetanjali Goel while granting regular bail to all accused had noted that the CBI had not arrested any accused in the case and the chargesheet was filed without arresting.
The Court directed every accused to furnish Rs 50,000 personal bail bond and a like amount surety.
The CBI in its earlier chargesheet filed in connection with the alleged land-for-job scam stated that irregular appointments of candidates were made in Central Railway, violating the laid down norms and procedures of Indian Railways for recruitment.
As a quid-pro-quo, the candidates directly or through their immediate relatives/family members, sold land to the family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav (then Union Railway Minister) at highly discounted rates up to 1/4th to 1/5th of the prevailing market rates, stated CBI.
CBI further stated that investigation has revealed that Yadav during the period 2007-08. When he was Minister of Railways, Govt. of India with the intent to acquire the land parcels situated in Vill- Mahuabagh, Patna and Vill-Kunjwa, Patna which were situated adjacent to the land parcels already owned by his family members; entered into a criminal conspiracy with his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misha Bharati, Officers of Central Railways namely Sowmya Raghvan the then General Manager, Kamal Deep Mainrai, the then Chief Personnel Officer, and residents of Vill-Mahjabagh, Patna and Vill-Bindaul, Bihta, Patna and Patna City namely Raj Kumar Singh, Mithlesh Kumar, Ajay Kumar, Sanjay Kumar, Dharmendra Kumar, Vikas Kumar, Abhishek Kumar, Ravindra Ray, Kiran Devi, Akhileshwar Singh, Ramashish Singh.
According to the CBI, all the candidates after their engagement as substitutes were subsequently regularized.
In lieu of getting them appointed in Railways, Lalu Prasad Yadav got the lands transferred owned by candidates and their family members in the names of his wife Rabri Devi and Misha Bharti for sale consideration which was much lesser than the prevailing circle rates as well as the prevailing market rates.
Earlier, the court while taking cognizance of the chargesheet said, after going through the charge sheet and the documents and material on record, prima facie shows the commission of offences under Section 120B read with Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC and Sections 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1) (d) of PC Act, 1988 and substantive offences thereof. Accordingly, cognizance is taken of the said offences.
The CBI filed the chargesheet in October last year, against former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi, their daughter Misa Bharti and 13 others in the land-for-jobs scam.
The chargesheet stated that “During the investigation, it has been found that the accused in conspiracy with the then GM Central Railways and CPO, Central Railways engaged persons as substitutes in lieu of land either in their name or in the name of their close relatives. This land was acquired at prices lower than the prevailing circle rate and much lower than the market rate. It was also alleged that the candidates have used false TC and submitted false attested documents to the Ministry of Railways,” the CBI claimed in a press statement.
The alleged scam occurred when Yadav was Railway Minister between 2004 and 2009. Apart from the RJD leader, the chargesheet also includes the name of the then Railway General Manager.
The CBI stated that the investigation had revealed that the candidates were considered for their engagement without any need for substitutes and there was no urgency for their appointment which was one of the main criteria behind the engagement of substitutes and joined their duties much later from the approval of their appointment and they were subsequently regularised.
There were several anomalies found in the applications of the candidates and the documents that were enclosed due to which the applications should not have been processed and their engagement should not have been approved but it was done. Further, in most cases, the candidates joined their jobs in their respective divisions on many later dates which defeated the purpose of appointment of Substitutes in some cases, the candidates could not clear their medical examination under the required category to which their engagement was made and subsequently, they were considered and appointed on the posts where inferior/ lower medical category was required, said the CBI.