On Tuesday, the Income Tax (IT) Department charged six family members of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, including his wife, son and daughters, under the stringent Benami Transactions Act in connection with land deals worth Rs 1,000 crore.
The RJD chief and his family members have been in the news the past one week. Here’s why:
Tej Pratap Yadav’s petrol pump license cancelled by the BPCL
Tej Pratap Yadav, who is also the Minister for Health, Minor Water Resources, Environment and Forest in the Nitish Kumar government was handed over a notice signed by BPCL on the May 31. The notice said that Yadav had acquired the petrol pump at Patna’s busy Anisabad bypass road by “misrepresenting facts and furnishing wrong information.”
“On the date of submission of the application for the retail outlet (12.1.2012) you were neither the shareholder nor the director of the said M/s A K Infosystem which never entered into any lease with you (Tej Pratap),” the complaint had stated, as reported by The Indian Express.
The complaint was reportedly made by BJP leader Sushil Modi who claimed that the petrol pump had been fraudulently allotted to Tej Pratap during the UPA-II regime and while applying for the petrol pump, Yadav had falsely declared that the land for retail allotment was under his name. However, M/S A K Infosystems, the real owner, claimed that it had never leased the land to Yadav.
The notice issued by the BPCL was allegedly connected to this complaint.
The oil corporation gave Yadav 15 days to submit an explanation on how he acquired the license. As he was unable to provide a satisfactory response, his license got cancelled.
However, the order could not be executed following a temporary injunction order issued by Patna civil court on 16 June. The interim stay comes after Yadav approached a local court challenging the BPCL’s cancellation order.
The next hearing of the case is on June 23.
Lalu Prasad Yadav’s wife, son and daughter charged under Benami Act
The Income Tax Department on June 17 charged six family members of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, including daughter Misa Bharti, her husband Shailesh, sister Ragini and Chanda, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi, under the Benami Transactions Act. The charge was in connection with the IT department’s probe into land deals worth Rs 1,000 crore.
In this Act, the word ‘benami’ is used to define a transaction in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the property is purchased. As a result, the person in whose name the property is purchased is just a mask of the real beneficiary.
In spite of summons being issued on their names about the ‘benami’ assets case, Bharti and Kumar have not appeared in front of the authorities. The summons was issued days after the arrest of Bharti’s Chartered Accountant (CA) Rakesh Agrawal, in connection with an Enforcement Directorate probe into a Rs. 8,000 crore money laundering racket, involving two Delhi-based businessmen and a few political entities.
The summons reportedly intended to question Misa and her husband on transactions conducted by M/s Mishail Packers and Printers Private Limited.
The IT Department has been carrying out a month-long investigation across the country and has probed about who all have been involved or were linked to the purchase and sale of these assets. Its survey has revealed that about 22 locations in Delhi and adjoining areas are connected with alleged Benami deals of Rs 1,000 crore by Lalu’s family.
Lalu Prasad appears in court over allegations of fodder scam
The former Bihar Chief Minister appeared before a special CBI court in Ranchi in three fodder scam cases, while another former CM Jagannath Mishra presented himself in the court in two other fodder scam cases on June 22.
Prasad and Mishra have been linked to money fraud cases in two places – for a withdrawal of Rs 96 lakhs from Deoghar and Rs 3.97 crores from Dumka. Prasad was also associated with alleged fraudulent withdrawal from the Doranda Treasury.
Lalu Yadav has been convicted and sentenced to five-year imprisonment in one of the five cases for which he is being tried in the fodder scam.
This scam worth of Rs 900 crores had come to the forefront during the 1990s when Lalu Prasad was the Chief Minister of Bihar.
The Logical Indian community severely condemns the deep-seated corruption and money-laundering that exists among Indian politicians. It urges the concerned authorities to take the necessary steps and not to leave any loopholes in the system through which the accused cannot go scot free.