The Income-Tax department are looking into benami land deals worth Rs 1,000 crore allegedly involving RJD chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. The agency on Tuesday conducted raids and surveys at 22 locations in Delhi, Gurgaon and Rewari.
Raids were conducted early today morning on the premises owned by several prominent businessmen and real estate agents. I-T sleuths have also raided the premises of the son of RJD MP P C Gupta and few other businessmen. While raids are being conducted at a dozen locations, ten other official premises are being surveyed by the I-T department, officials told news agency PTI.
“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 tax department officials and police personnel are conducting the raids, they said.
This comes just days after the Bharatiya Janata Party accused Lalu Prasad and his children — Tejashwi Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav and Misa Bharti — of being involved in corrupt land deals. On May 12, addressing a press conference at the party headquartes, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded the Central Government to probe the alleged land deals. He alleged that Lalu’s daughter Misa Bharti, a Rajya Sabha MP, failed to disclosed these assets in her election affidavit and demanded the Election Commission to take action against her. The union minister said the land deals dated back to the time when Lalu Prasad was the Union Railway Minister in the UPA government. He also wondered whether Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would invoke the special law enacted by his goverment in which assets acquired through illicit means are confiscated.
In his reponse Nitish said that the BJP should move to court and substantiate their allegations with proof. “This is not an issue that falls in the domain of the state government nor in the company law of Bihar. If the BJP has documents, then it should take legal recourse to prove their accusations,” Nitish said.
Lalu’s RJD is a constituent of Bihar’s ruling coalition led by Kumar. His sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav are ministers in the government.