Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad was granted interim bail till January 19 on Thursday by a Delhi court in two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) scam cases filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

However, Prasad will be remaining in jail because of his sentences in the fodder scam cases he is embroiled in.

Special Judge Arun Bharadwaj granted relief to Prasad after he was produced before the court through video conference from a Ranchi jail, where he is lodged in another case, as he was unable to come due to health reasons.

What is the IRCTC scam?

The CBI and ED filed cases against the RJD leader, his family members (his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav) and his trusted aide and former Union minister Prem Chand Gupta  and his wife Sarla for alleged money laundering in the railway hotels allotment case.

What did the CBI say?

In the charge sheet, the investigative agency said that a conspiracy was hatched involving BNR hotels of Indian Railways, located at Puri and Ranchi. The hotels were first transferred to the IRCTC, however they were given on lease to Sujata Hotel Private Limited, which is based in Patna for its operations, maintenance and upkeep.

To help Sujata Hotel Pvt Ltd, it was alleged that the conditions were tweaked. In the FIR, it was mentioned that Yadav entered into criminal conspiracy with the owner of Sujata hotels, Sarla Gupta.

What did the ED say?

The ED accused the former chief minister of Bihar of misusing his official position. He granted sub-lease of the hotels to private parties in lieu of land parcels transferred to Gupta’s farm.

Gupta who was served as corporate affairs minister in UPA-1 later transferred shares of the properties to Rabri Devi and Tejashwi.

“The funds used to acquire the land (in Patna) had dubious origin and had been laundered through firms associated with P C Gupta,” a senior ED official said, according to Times of India.

Among others named in the charge sheet are -- then group general managers of IRCTC V K Asthana and R K Goyal and Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar, both directors of Sujata Hotels and owners of Chanakya Hotel.

Who is Vinay Kochchar?

It also claimed that on February 25, 2005 Vinay Kochhar sold commercial property in the form of three acres of land in Patna through 10 sale deeds for Rs 1.47 crore to Delight Marketing, in which Sarla Gupta was a director as a front benami holder on behalf of Prasad.

The court had earlier granted regular bail to Prasad's wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav in the CBI case, while they are on interim bail in the ED matter, which was extended till January 19, the next date of hearing.