Income tax to probe Bihar Srijan scam gainers, quiz two who gifted land to Lalu kin
A special IT team will investigate the financial embezzlement in the scam, in which government funds, estimated at Rs 1,300 crore, were moved to the accounts of NGO Srijan, using fraudulent means.india Updated: Sep 14, 2017 19:28 IST
The multi crore Srijan scam, already being probed by the CBI, has now come under the scanner of the Income Tax (IT) department, as well.
Authoritative sources said a special team of IT sleuths is being put on job to investigate the financial embezzlement in the scam, in which government funds, estimated to be around Rs 1,300 crore,in the scam, were moved to the accounts of an NGO, Srijan co-operative society, employing fraudulent means.
“Names of several bureaucrats, bank officials and politicians have surfaced during investigations into the scam so far. We will check their financial credentials and whether they amassed benami property and other assets, using the embezzled funds,” said a senior IT officer in Patna, seeking anonymity.
Based on the evidence procured, proceedings for attachment of properties would be initiated and cases would be lodged against those found involved in amassing property disproportionate to their known sources of income.
Sources said the IT officials would primarily focus on the money trail and ascertain whether the funds siphoned off from treasury and moved to bank accounts of Srijan co-operative society were used in money laundering by the beneficiaries.
The special investigation team (SIT) of the Bihar government , in its probe, had found evidence of the funds siphoned of by the scamsters being invested in various states, in real estate and other financial activities.
Thereafter, the CBI took over the case last month after state government recommended an investigation by the federal agency.
IT officials said the department had evolved a comprehensive plan to investigate the financial fraud committed by the co-operative body and separate teams of its officials would be dispatched to Bhagalpur to access the papers , already collected by the CBI.
In the past, IT has probed financial dealings by those involved in the Rs 950 crore fodder scam of the 1990s , relating to fraudulent withdrawal of government funds from treasury by animal husbandry officials and suppliers, using fake bills.
IT officials, in the news of late for attaching several allegedly benami properties of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family members, are also likely to quiz two persons who had gifted their property to the RJD chief’s wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi and their daughter Hema Yadav.
Sources said the IT officials would quiz Lallan Choudhary and Hridyanand, both personal employees of Lalu, who had gifted their property to Prasad’s family members. “ Summons will soon be sent to them for appearance in the IT department in Patna. They will quizzed about the gift deeds and other matters,” said an IT officer.
More importantly, IT department has also started locating other properties of RJD chief and his immediate family, based on inputs sent by its Delhi team, which had grilled Lalu’s son and leader of the opposition in Bihar assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, a fortnight back, in connection with benami properties allegedly amassed by them.
“Once the location of these properties is ascertained, further action will be taken,” said a source.
Trouble for Lalu and his immediate family started after BJP’s senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi made a series of exposes showing how the RJD first family had floated shell companies to amass property worth Rs 1,000 crore and also how land was gifted to them even by RJD leaders.
Modi had alleged the RJD leaders had gifted their property to Lalu’s family in lieu of ministerial berths and other political favours.