[IRCTC Scam Case] Delhi Court grants bail to Former RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi and Others

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Former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharti, and others were granted bail by a Delhi court on Wednesday.

A Delhi Court on Wednesday granted bail to former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharti and others in connection with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) scam case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The scam allegedly involved rigged recruitment in Indian Railways and the provision of jobs in exchange for land.

Noting that CBI filed the chargesheet without arrest, Special Judge Geetanjali Goel of Rouse Avenue Court granted Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharti, and others on furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 and a surety of like amount.

It is to be noted, that on February 27, the Special Judge issued summons to Lalu Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharti and 13 others in the present case while observing, “A perusal of 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.”

On October 10, 2022, the CBI filed a chargesheet against a total of 16 persons, and thereafter sanctions were obtained to prosecute Lalu Yadav and others in the case.

The CBI’s case is that Lalu Prasad Yadav, as Railways Minister from 2004 to 2009, received financial benefits in the form of the transfer of land property in the names of his family members in exchange for the appointment of substitutes in Group "D" posts in various Railway zones such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Jabalpur, and Hajipur.

CBI alleged that “in lieu thereof, the substitutes, who were residents of Patna themselves or through their family members sold and gifted their land situated at Patna in favor of the family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav and a private company controlled by family members, which was also involved in the transfer of such immovable properties in the name of family members.”

CBI also alleged that no advertisement or public notice was issued for the appointment of Substitutes in Zonal Railways, yet substitutes from Patna were appointed as substitutes in different Zonal Railways and that undue haste was shown in processing candidates' applications and their appointments as substitutes were approved. Furthermore, the agency alleged that the due procedure and guidelines/instructions issued by the Railway Authority for the appointment of Substitutes in Railways were not followed and later on, their services had also been regularized.

The court had then noted, “That 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 they joined their duties much later from the approval of their appointment and they were subsequently regularized.”

Case Title: CBI v. Lalu Prasad Yadav & Ors.

Statue: The Indian Penal Code; The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; The Code of Criminal Procedure