Lalu may be in trouble after arrest of CA linked to daughter Misha Bharti
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Lalu may be in trouble after arrest of CA linked to daughter Misha Bharti

Already facing a slew of allegations of acquiring real estate illegally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad may run into more trouble following the arrest of a chartered accountant linked to a firm of his daughter Misha.

india Updated: May 23, 2017 22:12 IST
Azaan Javaid
Azaan Javaid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Misha Bharti,Lalu Prasad,Money laundering
File photo of RJD Chief Lalu Prasad's daughter Misha Bharti. A chartered account linked to a firm owned by Misha was arrested on Monday on money laundering charges.(PTI)

The arrest of a chartered accountant allegedly linked to a private firm owned by Misha Bharti, daughter of Lalu Prasad, could spell further trouble for the RJD chief who is facing a slew of allegations of graft.

The enforcement directorate (ED) on Monday arrested the CA, Rajesh Kumar Agrawal on charges of aiding Mishail Packers in laundering money through Jain brothers who were arrested in March.

Agency sources said that the ED has communicated to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about a list of assets owned by the former railway minister’s family.

The agencies are exploring the option of registering a disproportionate assets case against Lalu who was the railway minister when the suspicious transactions involving the company had taken place, official sources told HT.

Early this month the Supreme Court revived criminal conspiracy charges against Lalu in the Bihar fodder scam. He has already been convicted in one of the cases related to the scam.

The ED believes that the CA acted as a mediator between the Jain brothers and Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd, a private firm involved in publishing business. Misa is an active shareholder and director in the firm along with her husband, Shailesh Kumar, ED officials told HT.

In March this year ED arrested Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Kumar Jain on accusation of laundering money worth over Rs 4,300 crore. The brothers have been accused of laundering the unaccounted money of Jagat Projects Private Limited amounting to around Rs 64 crore. The CA has been accused of acting as a mediator between Jagat Projects and Jain brothers.

Read more: After raids, Lalu says he won’t be cowed down as BJP decries ‘politics of loot’

While the ED maintained that the arrest of Agrawal was in connection with the Jain-Jagat project case, senior officials of the probe body said the accountant would be probed for his links to Misa’s firm as well.

“During investigations it came to light that in October 2008 Mishail Packers through Agrawal sold the company’s 1.2 lakh shares -- with face value of Rs 10 each -- at Rs 100 each to three shell companies owned by Jain brothers. It fetched her Rs 1.20 crore. Eleven months later, Misha’s firm purchased all the shares at the rate of Rs 10 per share from Jain,” said a senior ED official. The probe agency suspects that an agricultural land in Delhi was purchased with this money.

“The agency (ED) will be coordinating with the CBI to probe allegations leveled at family members of Lalu Prasad. The allegations include acquiring disproportionate assets with unknown source of income and money laundering,” said an official requesting anonymity.

According to company records, Lalu’s daughter and her husband are directors of Mishail Packers with its address at Palam Vihar in New Delhi. The company was incorporated in 2002. Company records state that authorized share capital of the firm is Rs. 30 lakh with paid up capital of Rs. 27 lakh.

First Published: May 23, 2017 21:42 IST