Trouble continues to brew for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members who are facing a barrage of corruption charges.
Now, it has come to the light that Lalu’s son Tej Pratap – the incumbent minister for Health, Minor Water Resources, Environment and Forest in Bihar – had allegedly secured a petrol pump from the state-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) by falsely claiming ownership of the land.
The BPCL, on 29 May, served a show cause notice on Tej Pratap and sought a reply within 15 days. The BPCL notice came following a complaint that Yadav had acquired the petrol pump by furnishing “wrong” information.
According to the complainant, Tej Pratap Yadav had falsely declared in his application that he has land in his name for the retail allotment, whereas the real owner of the said land is M/S AK Infosystems.
Records show that Tej Pratap had applied for the petrol pump at Chitkohra on the busy Patna-Anisabad bypass road in 2012 in response to a dealership advertisement published in December 2011. The retail outlet was commissioned to M/S Lara Automobiles represented by him as its proprietor on February 27, 2017.
Reports suggest that Tej Pratap had submitted a lease deed for 43 decimal of land from AK Infosystem Pvt Ltd. The deal was executed in the name of his brother Tejashwi Prasad, who is currently the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.
“On the date of submission of the application for the retail outlet (12.1.2012) you were neither the shareholder nor the director of the said M/s A K Infosystem which never entered into any lease with you (Tej Pratap),” the complaint said.
The BPCL notice threatened to cancel the petrol pump dealership due to violation of the allotment norms which entails that a petrol pump allottee must personally supervise or run the outlet and not through proxy.
“We have observed that you are at present discharging duty of minister for health, minor water resources, environment and forest of Bihar which may suggest that you are not in a position to carry out obligations contained in the agreement personally. The same may amount to violation of clause (10)t and selection guidelines,” the notice said.
Earlier, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had highlighted the issue of petrol pump allotment to Tej Pratap.
Recently, the Income Tax Department conducted raids on Lalu’s associates in Delhi-NCR in connection to the Rs 1,000 crore Benami land deals. There are allegations that Lalu Prasad had used front company to acquire prime residential property in Delhi.
Lalu’s daughter – Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti – and her husband Shailesh Kumar had reportedly purchased lands in some of the most luxurious enclaves of the union capital under highly suspicious circumstances. Further, the couple had allegedly acquired a farmhouse in Delhi through intriguing transactions.
Lalu’s family is also at the centre of another land scam – Patna zoo soil scam. His son Tej Pratap had awarded a Rs 90-lakh contract in Patna zoo to a company in which the incumbent Bihar minister, his siblings and mother are shareholders.
In addition, the Union Environment Ministry had issued an order to stop the construction work of the upcoming Delite Mall in Patna, which is being developed on the land owned by Lara Projects Limited Liability Partnership, an alleged shell company run by Lalu Prasad’s family. The mall was being developed without getting mandatory environmental clearance.