CBI summons Tejashwi Yadav’s private secretary in land for jobs scam case

The Central Bureau of Investigation has summoned Sanjay Yadav, private secretary to Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, to appear for questioning in its Delhi office on Saturday in connection with its ongoing investigation into the alleged ‘land for jobs’ scam.

This is the third time CBI has issued summons to Sanjay Yadav in the alleged scam involving former railway minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad and some of his family members.

While Sanjay Yadav had moved the Delhi High Court earlier this week to challenge the summons, the court has asked him to join the investigation. The High Court has, however, directed the CBI to issue an advance notice in case of his arrest, so that Yadav can avail legal remedies.

Yadav’s lawyer argued before the court that the notice issued under Section 160 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) by CBI could only be issued to a person who is situated within local jurisdiction of that police station or is within the adjoining police station, and that the summons issued to him are in gross violation of provisions of the CrPC.

Yadav said he repeatedly urged the agency to let him appear at its Patna office or permit him to send the requisite documents through an authorised representative to New Delhi. However, his request was turned down.

He further contended that the agency sent him summons only through WhatsApp and the same were not served personally in physical copy. The first summon was issued on August 29. Yadav had previously also served as private secretary to Tejashwi Yadav during the latter’s stint as deputy chief minister of Bihar in 2015.

It might be clarified here that Tejashwi Yadav is not named as an accused in CBI FIR on the alleged scam.

The agency has alleged that Lalu Prasad and some of his family members had received plots of land as bribes for getting jobs at Indian Railways during 2004-09 when Prasad was the railway minister at the Centre.

Challenging the CBI summons, Sanjay Yadav claimed that he is neither connected with Lalu Prasad or his family members named in the scam nor has any connection whatsoever with the alleged offence. Yadav alleged CBI has issued the summons with mala fide intention to harass him without having any basis.

He argued that he has been given “most urgent work for the health department” in Bihar which needs to be completed on an urgent basis.

Yadav also argued the summons has been issued “without obtaining the mandatory sanction under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act” against him and hence they are liable to be quashed.

Denying the accusations and claims made by Yadav, CBI told the HC that as a national agency it is well within its legal right to summon the accused to join probe in its Delhi office.

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