Lalu Prasad's family charged for holding benami assets, tax evasion
Tax department officials had said Lalu Prasad Yadav's kin held some of the properties under their scanner in a 'benami' way. Photograph: (Twitter)
India's Income Tax department has charged family members of RJD chief Lalu Prasad's wife, including his wife, son and daughters for holding benami assets and for tax evasion.
The former Bihar chief minister's family have been charged under the Benami Transactions Act in connection with its probe into land deals worth Rs 1000 crores, PTI reported.
Tax department officials had said Lalu Prasad's kin held some of the properties under their scanner in a "benami" way. A benami transaction is one in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the property has been purchased.
The Income Tax (I-T) Department has served notices of attachment of assets to Lalu's daughter Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar, his wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, son and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav and daughters Chanda and Ragini Yadav.
The I-T department had carried out country-wide searches in this case last month, PTI reported.
The department has attached immovable assets such as land, plots and buildings in Delhi and Patna which bear a "deed" value of Rs 9.32 crore but their current market value has been estimated as Rs 170-180 crore by the taxman.
The tax department has also attached nine plots in Patna's Phulwari Sharif area, where a mall is reported to have been coming up.
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.
Lalu Prasad tweeted after the raids that 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 earlier accused Lalu Prasad, his daughter Misa 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.