The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday filed a prosecution complaint (charge sheet) in the Land for a job scam money laundering case. The charge sheet consists of a total of 4751 pages. ED has named Bihar's former CM Rabri Devi, her daughters Misa Bharti and Hema Yadav, Hridyanand Chaudhary and Amit Katyal. Two firms, AB Export and AK Infosystems, have also been accused. Special CBI judge Vishal Gogne directed ED to file an e-copy of the charge sheet and documents today itself.
The matter has been listed for consideration on cognizance January 16, 2024. ED's Special Public Prosecutors Manish Jain and advocate Ishan Baisla apprised the court that the Yadav family members are beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime. Katyal has been arrested and is in custody. The other accused persons have been charged without arrest. His firm was charge-sheeted in the CBI case as well.
ED arrested Amit Katyal
On November 23, 2023, the Rouse Avenue Court sent businessman Amit Katyal, promoter of AK Infosystems, to judicial custody. He was arrested by the ED in an alleged land-for-jobs scam case. Katyal is said to be a close aide of former railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. The Delhi High Court had refused to quash Enforcement Directorate (ED) proceedings against Amit Katyal, who is accused of engaging in transactions with the family members of former railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Earlier the lawyers for Katyal had submitted that original FIR registered on May 18, 2022 by CBI and the period of transaction is 2004-09. ED registered ECIR on August 16, 22 in relation to this. CBI has concluded the investigation and I am cited as a protected witness. My arrest is illegal and is contrary to Section 19, Lawyer argued for Katyal.
24 locations raided in past
According to the ED's in March month, 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 grammes of gold bullion and more than 1.5 kg of gold jewellery (worth approximately Rs 1.25 crore), 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 detection of proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 600 crore at this point of time, which is 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 in 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 for these lands have been identified.
Probe under PMLA
Further, investigation under PMLA revealed that the property situated at New Friends Colony, Delhi (independent 4-storey bungalow registered in the name of M/s A B Exports Private Limited, a company owned and controlled by Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and his 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 from crime has been infused in purchasing this property and a few Mumbai-based entities dealing in the gems and jewellery sector were used to channel the ill-gotten proceeds of crime in this regard.
What was found during searches?
The property has been, on paper, declared the offices of M/s A B Exports Private Limited and M/s 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.
ED investigation has found that four 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 Mrs. Rabri Devi with huge gains of 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 Sh. Tejashwi Prasad Yadav. Investigations revealed that, in a similar fashion, 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% of recruited candidates were from Lalu Yadav families' constituencies, according to ED.