Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and their daughter Misa Bharti were granted bail today by a CBI court in a corruption case.
The case will be heard next on March 29.
Lalu Yadav arrived in a wheelchair in his first court appearance after a kidney transplant in Singapore three months ago.
Lalu Yadav and Rabri Devi, both former Chief Ministers, and some of their children, including Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, are being investigated in what is known as the Bihar land-for-jobs scam.
Mr Yadav and his family members are accused of buying land dirt-cheap in exchange for jobs during his stint as Union Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009.
The CBI has alleged in its charge sheet that “irregular appointments” were made in the Railways in violation of rules. As a quid pro quo, it alleges, those who got jobs sold land to the Yadavs at highly discounted rates.
Lalu Yadav and his family members face charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption.
In July last year, the CBI arrested Bhola Yadav, who was Lalu Yadav’s aide when he was Railways Minister.
The current market value of land allegedly acquired in exchange for jobs by Lalu Yadav’s family is approximately Rs 200 crore, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has said in a statement.
The Enforcement Directorate has listed assets that it alleges Mr Yadav’s family acquired after searches at 24 locations in Delhi, Patna, Mumbai and Ranchi. The central agency says it found unaccounted Rs 1 crore cash, foreign currency of $1,900, 540 gram gold bullion, over 1.5 kg of gold jewellery worth Rs 1.25 crore and property documents in the name of Mr Yadav’s family members.
Tejashwi Yadav’s Delhi house was searched by the CBI earlier this week. The ED also searched properties linked to his sister Ragini Yadav and others.
Sources close to Tejashwi Yadav had criticised the timing of the move, saying they never expected this kind of vendetta politics from the BJP when his wife is expecting a child. His sister said her family was being “tortured” only because her family has never bent in front of “fascists and rioters”.
Last week, eight opposition parties wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging the misuse of central investigation agencies to target them, amid the political war over the arrest of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia.