Alleged benami deals linked to Lalu, kin: I-T Dept. conducts raids in Delhi, nearby areas



Last week, the BJP accused Mr. Prasad, his daughter Misa Bharti, an MP, and sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, both Bihar Ministers, of being involved in corrupt land deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore.

The Income Tax Department on Tuesday conducted raids and surveys on at least 22 locations in Delhi and adjoining areas on charges of alleged benami deals worth ₹1,000 crore linked to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and others.

Officials said the department began raiding the premises of some prominent businessmen and real estate agents in Delhi, Gurugram, Rewari and few others since early morning.

Searches were also being conducted on the premises of the son of RJD MP P C Gupta and few other businessmen.

“People and businessmen connected to the land deal involving Lalu Prasad and his family are being searched. There are allegations of benami deals worth about Rs 1,000 crore and subsequent tax evasion,” a senior official said.

A team of about 100 department officials and police personnel were conducting the raids, the officials said.

Last week, the BJP accused Mr. Prasad, his daughter Misa Bharti, an MP, and sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, both Bihar Ministers, of being involved in corrupt land deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore, and asked the Central government to probe one such transaction in Delhi.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had alleged that these transactions were a case of “quid pro quo” as they date back to the period when Mr. Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister, and dared Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take action against the chief of the RJD, which is a constituent of Bihar’s ruling coalition led by Mr. Kumar.

Mr. Lalu Prasad’s official residence was the address of the owners of the firms allegedly floated by his family members, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad had said.

Several suspect land deals took place in Bihar, he said, wondering if Mr. Kumar would invoke a special law enacted by his government in which assets acquired through illicit money are confiscated in this instance.

“The politics of Lalu Prasad has become politics of loot. Land worth crores of rupees was grabbed for a pittance,” Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad said. One such land deal involving Mr. Lalu Prasad and his family members is in Bijwasan in Delhi, he alleged.

All the companies owned by Mr. Lalu Prasad’s family members for the purpose of these land transactions had no employees, no business activities and no turnover, he claimed.

Bihar’s biggest shopping mall, spread over 7.5 lakh square feet, is coming up in Patna as a part of such dubious transactions, he alleged at a news conference held in New Delhi.
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