Former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi today skipped deposition before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the third consecutive time in a PMLA probe in the railway hotels allotment corruption case, while her son Tejashwi Yadav was summoned again, officials said.
Rabri Devi, the wife of RJD chief and former railway minister Lalu Prasad, failed to appear in the case for the third time after which the central probe agency asked her to appear on October 16, they said.
It was not clear if she furnished any reason for her absence today.
Tejashwi Yadav, a former deputy chief minister of Bihar, was grilled for about nine hours by the ED yesterday in the matter and it has now summoned him again for questioning tomorrow, official sources said.
The ED is probing members of the Lalu Prasad family and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
In July, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registeredthe criminal FIR (first information report) and conducted multiple searches against Lalu Prasad, who is also a former Bihar chief minister, and others.
The CBI FIR alleges that Prasad, as railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a 'benami' company owned by Sarla Gupta.
It hadearlier questioned wife of former UPA minister P C Gupta among others.
The ED will investigate the alleged "proceeds of crime" generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies, officials had said.
Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav and others will be probed by the agency under charges filed in the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED equivalent of a police FIR.
Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director P K Goel.
The CBI FIR was registered on July 5 in connection with favours allegedly extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as 'quid pro quo'.
The ED, under the PMLA, has powers to attach and confiscate tainted assets and it is expected that the agency will initiate such a move once it makes progress in the case.
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