Lalu granted interim bail in IRCTC scam case

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday granted interim bail to former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad in the 2013 Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) scam case.

Patiala House Court’s Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj granted interim bail to Lalu Prasad on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with a surety of the same amount, in both CBI and ED cases pertaining to alleged irregularities in granting of operational contracts of two IRCTC hotels to a private firm during his tenure as the Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009.

Lalu appeared before the court through video conferencing due to ill health.

Lalu Prasad, who is currently serving jail term in fodder scam case, has been admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, under police custody for treatment of diabetes and other ailments.

On November 19, the Patiala House Court had adjourned the IRCTC scam case and ordered the RJD chief to appear before it via video conferencing today.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned for January 19 the hearing in the case filed by CBI in IRCTC scam, for further scrutiny of documents.

The court also extended the interim bail of Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi Yadav and others till January 19 in the ED case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

All applications seeking regular bail by the accused in the cases would be taken up for arguments on January 19.
The ED had earlier filed its reply in the court and opposed a regular bail plea filed by Rabri, Tejashwi and others. The ED case is in connection with alleged money laundering linked to the IRCTC scam.

The court had granted regular bail to Rabri, Tejashwi and others who were present at the CBI case hearing on October 6. The CBI had opposed the regular bail pleading that it would ‘hamper the case investigation’.

On August 31, the court had granted interim bail to Rabri, Tejashwi and others in the case related to the CBI case.
Lalu is facing charges of misusing his position in the allotment of a contract to a private company for the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels located at Puri and Ranchi.

The prosecution report had also stated that the two hotels of the Indian Railways were first transferred to IRCTC and was sub-leased to the Sujata Hotel Pvt. Ltd owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar for maintenance.