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I-T dept attaches properties of Lalu Prasad’s daughter, son, in benami case

LiveMint logoLiveMint 19-06-2017 Shaswati Das

New Delhi: In another blow to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter, Misa Bharti, the income tax department (I-T), on Monday evening, seized the properties owned by Bharti, her husband Shailesh Kumar and her brother, Tejashwi Yadav, in Gurugram, Delhi and Rewari.

On 24 May, the I-T department had issued summons to Bharti and her husband, for which neither of the two had shown up.

“Investigation is ongoing and necessary action has been taken today (Monday),” said an I-T official, requesting anonymity.

The summons had been issued by the I-T department just days after Bharti’s chartered accountant, Rajesh Agrawal, was detained by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in connection with a Rs8,000 crore money laundering racket, involving two Delhi-based businessmen and a few political party members.

The I-T department’s move comes after senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Kumar Modi alleged, in May, that Bharti had laundered money through a shell company to buy a farmhouse in New Delhi’s Bijwasan area at a price much lower than the market price.

“During the investigation under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), it was revealed that unaccounted money to the tune of Rs62.20 crore was converted into apparently legitimate transactions by way of share subscription through 26 shell companies controlled by Jain brothers (for whom Agarwal was a mediator),” the ED said in a statement, after detaining Agarwal in May.

On 16 May, the tax department raided 22 places in and around Delhi in connection with alleged benami property deals involving Lalu Prasad and his children—Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, health minister Tej Pratap Yadav and Misa Bharti, who is a Rajya Sabha member.

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