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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Income Tax dept to file criminal prosecution against Lalu Prasad’s family

Tax officials are expected to soon file a prosecution complaint against family members of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, including his daughter Misa Bharti, in connection with its probe into land deals worth Rs 1,000 crore.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2017 01:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
RJD president Lalu Prasad appears before a special CBI court in connection with a Fodder Scam case at Civil court premises in Ranchi, on August 17, 2017.
RJD president Lalu Prasad appears before a special CBI court in connection with a Fodder Scam case at Civil court premises in Ranchi, on August 17, 2017. (Parwaz Khan/HT Photo)

The income tax department on Thursday issued fresh summons to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar to appear before it on Monday.

Official sources said the department was likely to file a criminal complaint against Bharti, a Rajya Sabha member, and Kumar.

The department will also likely file criminal complaints against other family members of Lalu Prasad, including his wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi, and their son and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.

The department is investigating how shell companies were used by Lalu Prasad and his family to buy expensive properties in Delhi and Patna in a benami (proxy) property case.

The tax officials said the criminal complaint would be filed in a Delhi court and they wanted to question Bharti and her husband again in Delhi.

Earlier on July 1, I-T officials quizzed Bharti for five hours in connection with an over Rs 1,000-crore benami land deals case.

After skipping the department’s summons twice on June 6 and 12, Bharti appeared before the officials on July 1. Her husband, who also skipped the summons on June 7 and 12, accompanied her to the I-T office in New Delhi.

A day earlier, the department had attached over 12 property of her relatives, including her husband’s, brothers Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav, and others under the Benami Transactions Act, 1988.

“She (Bharti) was asked about her company Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd, which is believed to be a shell company. She was also asked about the various loans she had taken, without any collateral security, to buy various companies,” the I-T officials said.

The department’s action came in the wake of the May 16 searches at 22 places in and around Delhi in connection with the alleged benami property deals involving the RJD chief, Tejashwi, Tej Pratap and Bharti.

Besides Lalu Prasad’s residence, tax officials carried out searches at the residence of party MP PC Gupta as well as several businessmen and real estate agents in Delhi and Haryana’s Gurugram and Rewari.

Allegations of corruption against Rabri Devi and their children were raised by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

Enforcement directorate (ED) sleuths had also searched a Delhi farmhouse and two other properties of Bharti and her husband on July 8 as part of an investigation into alleged corruption by the couple.

This came a day after a series of raids by the CBI on properties linked to Lalu Prasad and his family, who are accused of acquiring wealth through dubious deals, including prime land in Patna as a quid pro quo for hotel maintenance contracts to private firms when he was the railway minister.

On July 11, Bharti was grilled for nearly eight hours by ED sleuths in connection with the agency’s probe into Rs 8,000- crore money laundering case and her statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Lalu family has called these cases to be borne out of “political vendetta” against them.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 01:57 IST

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