The Income Tax Department has charged six members of Bihar politician Lalu Yadav’s family including his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharti and son Tejashwi Yadav with corruption under the tough Benami Transactions Act. Rabri Devi is a former chief minister, Misa Bharti is a Member of Parliament and Tejashwi Yadav is the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.
The I-T department served attachment notice under the stringent act for assets worth over Rs. 9 crore against the Lalu Prasad’s family.
The Income Tax department attached a total of 12 plots of Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav, Rabri Devi, and sisters Ragini and Chanda Yadav.
The attachment notice has been issued under Section 24(3) of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act and Mr. Prasad’s kin have been identified as “beneficiaries” of the benami assets.
A total of nine plots in Phulwari Sharif in Patna, where a mall is reported to have been coming up, has also been attached by the tax department.
The department had carried out country-wide searches in this case last month.
Benami properties are those in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the property has been purchased.
Violation of the Act carries rigorous imprisonment of up to seven years and a hefty fine.
The 1988 Act was implemented by the Union government from November 1, last year.
Tax department officials had said Prasad’s kin held some of the properties under their scanner in a “benami” way.
The RJD chief, however, had sought to put up a brave face after the raids, saying he was “not scared at all” and would continue to fight against “fascist forces”.
“BJP mein himmat nahi hai ki Lalu ki awaz ko daba sake…
Lalu ki awaz dabayenge to desh bhar me karoron Lalu khare ho jayenge… Main gidarbhabhki se nahi darne wala hoon (BJP does not have the courage to stifle my voice… If it tries to silence one Lalu, crore of Lalu will come forward. I am not scared of empty threats),” he had said in a series of tweets after the search operation.
The BJP had also accused Prasad, Bharti and his two sons Tejashwi and Tej Pratap, both ministers in the Bihar government, of involvement in corrupt land deals worth over Rs. 1,000 crore, and asked the central government to probe one such transaction in Delhi.