The Income Tax Department has provisionally attached a few immovable properties in connection with its probe in the Rs 1,000 crore benami land deals and tax evasion case allegedly involving family members of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Officials said two assets, a house and a land in Delhi, have been attached after the department issued a provisional order under the Benami Transactions Act, 1988, that came into force on November 1 last year.
They said the assets are in the benami possession and the action has been taken after the department carried out raids in this case last month.
The value of the attached properties could not be ascertained immediately. Benami properties are those in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the property has been purchased.
The officials added that a few more such assets will soon be attached in the case, even as they wanted to question Prasad’s MP daughter Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar.
Both Bharti and her husband have skipped I-T summons in the past. In this case, a chartered accountant, Rajesh Kumar Agrawal, allegedly linked to Bharti and others, was also arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on May 22.
Agrawal is alleged to have aided in illegal transactions involving Prasad’s kin. Officials have earlier said that the summons to Bharti and Kumar were part of the probe in the case and that the department wants to record their statements.
The couple allegedly have links with a firm — Ms Mishail Packers and Printers Private Limited– which is suspected to have entered into benami deals for purchase of a farm house in Delhi’s Bijwasan area.
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, crores 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.