ANI Photo | Land for job scam: Court directs ED to finalise conclusion of probe within 2 weeks

Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Friday directed the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to finalise the conclusion of a pending investigation within two weeks in the land-for-job case linked to money laundering involving Bihar’s former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and her two daughters.
In this case, Rabri Devi, and her daughters Misa Bharti and Hema Yadav have been chargesheeted along with Amit Katyal and Hridyanand Chaudhary. All accused except Amit Katyal appeared through video conferencing. Katyal was exempted from appearance for today.
Special judge Vishal Gogne after hearing submissions of ED’s Special Public Prosecutor passed the direction. The court has listed the matter for hearing on April 22.
“It is directed that the ED shall make efforts to finalise the conclusions of any remaining investigation within two weeks,” Special Vishal Judge Gogne said in the orders. The court also perused the case record of the ED with respect to the course of further investigation.
It was noted that the principal complaint (charge sheet) is already before the court. Upon query by the court, the ED’s Special Public Prosecutor (SPP), Manish Jain, submitted that further investigation is being conducted on a priority and expeditious basis.
The court also granted time to the ED to file a reply from the accused persons seeking unreleased documents from the ED. This matter is at the stage of scrutiny of documents after filing of the charge sheet.
On February 28, the court granted regular bail to Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Hema Yadav and Hridyanand Chaudhary. These accused were summoned by the court after taking cognizance of the charge sheet filed by the ED.
On January 27, the court issued summons to former Bihar CM Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Hema Yadav, Hridyanand Chaudhary and other accused in the case. Amit Katyal was arrested by the ED during the investigation.
Two firms, namely AK Infosystem and AB Export, have also been accused in this case.
ED had submitted that in 2006-07, AK Infosystem was formed by Amit Katyal and its business was IT data analysis. No real business was done. Instead, several land parcels were bought by the company. One land parcel pertains to the main predicate offence, which is land for a job.
This company was transferred in the name of Rabri Devi and Tejaswi Yadav in 2014 for the consideration of one lakh Rupees, ED submitted.
In the Prosecution Complaint (charge sheet) filed on January 9, 2024, the ED submitted that AB Export was supposed to be in the business of export. It was incorporated in 1996. In 2007, Rs five crore came through five companies and a property in New Friends colony was purchased.
In this case, seven land parcels are involved. Out of these, Rabri, Hema Yadav, and Misa Bharti got land parcels. Later on, they allegedly sold out their land parcels.
ED’s Special Public Prosecutor had apprised the court that the Yadav family members are beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime. Katyal is said to be a close aide of former railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.
The Delhi High Court had refused to quash ED proceedings against Amit Katyal, who is accused of engaging in transactions with the family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav.
According to the ED in March, based on the specific intelligence inputs, searches were conducted at 24 locations at various places in Delhi NCR, Patna, Mumbai and Ranchi in the Railways Land for Job Scam, which resulted in the recovery of unaccounted cash of Rs 1 crore, foreign currency including USD 1900, 540 gms gold bullion and more than 1.5 kg of gold jewellery (worth approximately Rs 1.25 e), as well as several other incriminating documents, including various property documents, sale deeds, etc., held in the names of family members and benamidaars indicating illegal accretion of huge land bank and electronic devices.
Searches resulted in the detection of proceeds of crime amounting to approximately Rs 600 crore at this point, which are in the form of immovable properties of Rs 350 crore and transactions of Rs 250 crore routed through various benamidaars, ED stated.
According to the ED, PMLA investigation conducted so far, several pieces of land at prominent locations in Patna and other areas were illegally acquired by the family of the then Rail Mantri, Lalu Prasad Yadav, in lieu of jobs provided by the railways. The current market value of these land parcels is more than Rs 200 crore. In this regard, several benamidars, shell entities and beneficial owners of these lands have been identified.
Further, investigation under PMLA revealed that the property situated at New Friends Colony, Delhi (an independent 4-story bungalow, registered in the name of AB Exports Private Limited, a company owned and controlled by Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and family) was shown to have been acquired at a value of mere Rs 4 lakhs, the present market value of which is approximately Rs 150 crore.
It is suspected that a huge amount of cash or proceeds of crime has been infused into purchasing this property and a few Mumbai-based entities, dealing in the gems and jewellery sector were used to channel ill-gotten proceeds of crime in this regard. The property has been, on paper, declared as the office of AB Exports Private Limited and AK Infosystems Pvt. ltd, it is being exclusively used as residential premises by Tejasvi Prasad Yadav, son of Lalu Prasad Yadav. During the searches, Tejasvi Prasad Yadav was found to be staying at this house and was found to be using this house as his residential property.
The ED investigation has found that 4 parcels of land acquired by the family of Lalu Yadav for just Rs 7.5 Lakhs from poor Group-D applicants were sold to Syed Abu Dojana, an ex-RJD MLA, by Rabri Devi with huge gains at Rs 3.5 crore in a collusive deal.
The ED investigation further revealed that a major portion of the amount thus received was transferred to the account of Tejashwi Prasad Yadav. Investigations revealed that similarly, lands were taken from several poor parents and candidates in lieu of Group D jobs in the railways. It has been revealed during the investigation that in many railway zones, more than 50 per cent of recruited candidates were from Lalu Yadav families’ constituencies, stated ED

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