Land-for-jobs 'scam': ED arrests alleged associate of Lalu Prasad's family!


PC: Kanakkupillai

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested Amit Katyal, an alleged aide of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav, in connection with a money laundering probe in the alleged land-for-jobs scam, official sources said on Saturday.

He said Katyal was detained by the agency on Friday and arrested after interrogation. He is expected to be produced in the local court where the ED will seek his custody for questioning.

Sources said Katyal had avoided the agency's summons for questioning for nearly two months.

The Delhi High Court had recently rejected his plea to quash the ED summons against him in this case.

The federal agency had raided Katyal's premises in March when it also included the premises of Lalu Prasad, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, his sisters and others.

According to the ED, Katyal is a "close associate" of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo as well as a former director of AK Infosystems Pvt Ltd.

AK Infosystems Pvt Ltd is allegedly a "beneficiary company" in the case and its registered address is a residential building in New Friends Colony, South Delhi, which was being used by Tejashwi Yadav.

The alleged scam dates back to the time when Prasad was the Railway Minister in the UPA-1 government.

The allegation is that from 2004 to 2009, several people were appointed to Group "D" posts in various areas of the Indian Railways and in turn, these people transferred their land to the family members of the then Railway Minister Prasad and AK Infosystems Pvt. Ltd. 

The ED case, registered under the criminal sections of the PMLA, stems from a complaint filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

According to the CBI, no advertisement or public notice was issued for the appointment, but some residents of Patna were appointed as officiators in various zonal railways in Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hajipur.

In return, the candidates, directly or through their immediate family members, allegedly sold land to Prasad's family members at highly discounted rates, ranging from one-fourth to one-fifth of the prevailing market rates, according to the CBI.