New Delhi/Patna, March 6: The CBI on Monday questioned former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi at her Patna residence and has issued notice to her husband and former railway minister Lalu Prasad in connection with the further probe in the land-for-jobs scam case, officials said.
There is no search or raid taking place, they said, adding CBI had issued notice to Rabri Devi following which she showed her availability on Monday and the team visited her residence to question her.
A similar notice has been issued to RJD supremo and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad as well, the officials said but remained tight-lipped on the date of his questioning.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already filed its charge sheet in the case. The special court summoned the accused, including Prasad and his family members and others on March 15.
The agency has kept the probe open into the alleged scam and the new round of questioning of Yadav family members is in connection with “further investigation” in the case, they said.
The team might also seek some additional documents from the family of Lalu Prasad related to the case of alleged land transfer to them in exchange for appointments in Group D posts in railways during 2004-2009.
Prasad’s son and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav alleged that CBI’s action was a result of his family’s “relentless opposition” to the BJP.
“It is an open secret that probe agencies are acting against political opponents of the BJP and helping those who agree to align with that party,” the RJD leader told reporters outside the Bihar Assembly.
He also claimed that his father had “no powers” to provide employment in exchange for favours as the then railway minister.
Other parties like the Congress and AAP too attacked the central government over the CBI action and alleged that the BJP wants to “suppress” the voice of the Opposition.
“Today Rabri Devi ji is being harassed. Lalu Prasad ji and his family have been harassed for years because they did not bow down,” Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted.
Reacting to the CBI action, AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that targeting and harassing opposition leaders is wrong.
The BJP, however, asserted that the CBI was “doing its job as an independent agency” and Prasad was “reaping what he had sown”.
“Lalu Prasad’s brush with CBI has been long. The fodder scam cases, in which he has been convicted, were lodged much before the BJP came into the picture,” said senior BJP leader and former state minister Nitin Nabin.
It was alleged in the FIR that some persons, although residents of Patna in Bihar, were appointed as substitutes in Group-D posts during the period 2004-2009 in different zones of the railways located in Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hajipur.
For this, the individuals themselves or their family members transferred their land in the name of family members of Prasad and a company, AK Infosystems Private Limited, which was subsequently taken over by family members of Prasad, it was alleged.
It was alleged that about 1,05,292 sq. ft. of land in Patna was acquired by the family members of Prasad from these persons through five sale deeds and two gift deeds and in most of the sale deeds, payment to the sellers was mentioned to be paid in cash.
The land’s value, as per the existing circle rate, was about Rs 4.39 crore.
The land was directly purchased by the family members of Prasad from the sellers at a rate lower than the prevalent circle rate. The prevalent market value of the land was much higher than the circle rate.
It was alleged that due procedure and guidelines issued by the railway authority for the appointment of substitutes were not followed and, later on, their services had also regularised. (PTI)