The Income Tax department is investigating charges of tax evasion and owning benami property against the family of Lalu Yadav, chief of Bihar’s Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD.
NEW DELHI: 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 department has served notices of attachment of assets to all three as well as two other daughters of Lalu Yadav, Chanda and Ragini Yadav and Misa Bharti’s husband Shailesh Kumar Yadav. It has attached land, plots and buildings in Delhi and Patna acquired for Rs. 9.32 crore, but which, tax officials estimate, are worth Rs. 170 to 180 crore at current market value.
Officials said the properties were attached after the department issued the provisional order under the Benami Transactions Act, 1988, that came into force on November 1 last year. They said they took action based on raids in the case last month.
Benami properties are those purchased in the name of others to conceal who really owns it. Violation of the Act can mean rigorous imprisonment of up to seven years and a hefty fine.
IT officials said they have taken action against the Yadav family based on multiple raids in the case last month.
Lalu Yadav has, however, rejected the charges of corruption and has alleged “political vendetta” by the ruling BJP, of which he is a sharp critic. He has said in statements that he is “not scared at all” and will “continue to fight against fascist forces”.