Delhi court wants Lalu’s presence through video conferencing

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday sought former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s presence through video conferencing in a money laundering case related to the 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract.

Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to present him on December 20 through video-conferencing either from hospital or jail.

Lalu Prasad could not appear before the Delhi court due to his ill health. He is being treated for various ailments at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi.

He was in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Central Jail after being convicted in December 2017 in the fodder scam. Later, he was shifted to RIMS for treatment.

The Delhi court was hearing a case related to alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm, for which a three-acre commercial plot at a prime location in Patna district was allegedly given as a bribe.

The CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are probing the case and had named Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi, their son Tejashwi Yadav and others as accused in the chargesheet.