Land-for-Jobs-Case: Delhi HC Seeks Amit Katyal Response on ED’s Plea against Interim Bail

Amit Katyal

The Delhi High Court has sought businessman Amit Katyal to respond to a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging the interim bail granted to him. Katyal has been on interim bail on medical grounds since February 5, 2024. He is one of the accused in the Land for Jobs money laundering case, alongside former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma has directed Amit Katyal to submit a reply and has listed the matter for hearing on March 4. The Enforcement Directorate has challenged the trial court’s order granting interim bail to Katyal on February 5, 2024. The Rouse Avenue court had previously granted Katyal four weeks of interim bail. His request for an extension of interim bail is scheduled for a hearing on March 5.

Katyal was arrested by the ED in connection with the land for job money laundering case. He had sought interim bail citing medical grounds. The Enforcement Directorate filed a Prosecution Complaint (PC) on January 8, 2024, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, against Katyal, Rabri Devi, Misha Bharti, Hema Yadav, Hridyanand Chaudhary, and two companies, namely M/s A K Infosystems Private Limited and M/s A B Exports Pvt. Ltd., before the Rouse Avenue Court.

The court took cognizance of the PC on January 27, 2024, and issued notices to the accused persons to appear on February 9, 2024, for further trial. The ED initiated investigations based on an FIR registered by the CBI related to the Land for Job Scam. The FIR alleged corruption by Lalu Prasad Yadav, the then Railway Minister, in the appointment of Group D substitutes in Indian Railways between 2004 and 2009. According to the FIR, candidates were instructed to transfer land as a bribe in exchange for jobs in Indian Railways. The CBI has also filed a charge sheet.

The ED alleges that family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav, including Rabri Devi, Misha Bharti, and Hema Yadav, who are accused in the PC, received land parcels from the families of selected candidates for nominal amounts. Hridyanand Chaudhary, another accused in the PC, is a former employee in Rabri Devi’s Gaushala, who acquired property from one of the candidates and later transferred it to Hema Yadav.

The companies, M/s A K Infosystems Private Limited and M/s A B Exports Pvt. Ltd., were identified as shell companies that received proceeds of crime for the family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav, according to the ED. The statement further stated that immovable properties were acquired in these companies by front men, and shares were subsequently transferred to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family members for nominal amounts. Amit Katyal was purportedly managing these companies for Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family.

Earlier, the ED conducted search operations on March 10, 2023, resulting in the seizure of cash amounting to Rs. 1 crore and valuables equivalent to about Rs. 1.25 crore. The ED also provisionally attached immovable properties worth Rs. 6.02 crore on July 29, 2023. Amit Katyal was arrested on November 11, 2023, for allegedly aiding Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family in money laundering, as per the statement.”

Recommended For You

About the Author: Nunnem Gangte