Union Minister Piyush Goyal has granted sanction to prosecute a former IRCTC group manager in connection with a graft case involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family, three months after the CBI sought his nod in the matter, senior officials in the ministry said today.
The officials said Goyal gave his nod last night to prosecute B K Agarwal amid concerns that a delay could weaken the case against the Prasad family.
The CBI on April 16 filed a charge sheet against Yadav, a former railway minister, and others in connection with alleged corruption in handing over the maintenance of two hotels run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), an Indian Railways subsidiary, in Ranchi and Puri to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vinay and Vijay Kochhar, in return for a prime land plot of three acres in Patna in 2006.
Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi, and their son Tejashwi were also among the 14 people named by the CBI in the charge sheet.
The CBI wrote to the railways in April seeking its permission to prosecute Aggarwal, who was then the IRCTC group general manager.
Sources in the railways said that the minister gave his nod after a report of the Central Vigilance Commission which advised the ministry to grant sanction for prosecution under Section 19 of the The Prevention of Corruption Act.
Referring to Aggarwal, the CVC in its report said that he played a “devious part” in evaluating the bid of Sujata Hotels in such a way that they qualified.
“It is clear that in case of B N R Puri, the competitor of Sujata Hotels were deliberately awarded low marks under various heads of evaluation so that it did not qualify for opening of it price bid. The award of marks with the introduction of subheads was arbitrary mala fide,” it said.
A Delhi court had in June directed the CBI to get the required nod to prosecute Aggarwal by July 27, when it scheduled its next hearing.