Income Tax raids at 22 sites linked to Lalu Prasad in tax probe

Searches were carried out at the residential premises of 12 persons linked to the case while surveys were conducted at 10 office premises associated with the companies being investigated by the department, a senior tax official said.

By: Express News Service | Patna | Updated: May 17, 2017 8:53 am
lalu prasad, lalu prasad land deal, lalu IT raid, lalu prasad benami property, bihar, arun jaitley RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. (Source: Express Photo By Prashant Ravi/File)

Acting on information of alleged investments in shell companies and benami deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore, the Income Tax department on Tuesday conducted searches and surveys on at least 22 locations in Delhi and adjoining areas allegedly linked to RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

Searches were carried out at the residential premises of 12 persons linked to the case while surveys were conducted at 10 office premises associated with the companies being investigated by the department, a senior tax official said.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event in the capital, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “People in high positions acquiring assets through shell companies is not a small matter. The day of reckoning has come for many. They all will be accountable.”

The tax official said that the searches and surveys were conducted following an investigation of the investment pattern in “shell companies”.

“We are carrying out the searches and surveys. the companies being probed are shell companies in which Lalu and his family members are directors or have some link. The 12 people who are being searched also are directly or indirectly related to investments in these shell companies,” the official alleged.

Officials said the 12 included Vijay Kochar, Vinay Kochar, Ajay Kochar, Amit Katyal, Vivek Nagpal and Subhash Goel, some of whom they described as “prominent businessmen and real estate agents”.

The department is likely to invoke provisions of the newly-enacted Benami Transactions Act, 1988, which became operational from November 1 last year and carries a maximum punishment of seven years in jail and a fine. The action under this new law will be over and above the legal proceedings under the Income Tax Act, 1961, officials said.

Tax officials said the findings from the searches and surveys will be known only in the next few days.

Reacting to the searches, RJD chief Prasad posted on his official Twitter account that he was “not scared at all” and will continue to fight against “fascist forces”.

“BJP mein himmat nahin hai ki Lalu ki awaz ko daba sake… Lalu ki awaz dabayenge to desh bhar me karoron Lalu khade ho jayenge…(BJP does not have the courage to stifle my voice… If it tries to silence one Lalu, crores of Lalus will rise across the country),” he wrote in a series of tweets.

Asked about Opposition claims that the government was misusing its authority, Finance Minister Jaitley said, “In the Finance Ministry, the Revenue Department or the CBDT, all actions which are taken are under the proceedings of the Income-tax Act…I can only give a general statement. Unless there is a substantial basis or a reason to suspect that either there is evasion or a crime has been committed, these departments don’t act. Because ultimately, whatever action they have taken, it has to bear some results.”

The income tax raids follow allegations of financial irregularities levelled by the BJP last week. The BJP had accused Lalu Prasad, his parliamentarian daughter Misa Bharti and his two sons Tejashwi and Tej Pratap, both Bihar government 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 Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had alleged that these transactions were a case of “quid pro quo” as they date back to the period when Lalu was the railway minister. Lalu’s official residence was the address of the owners of the firms allegedly floated by his family members, Prasad had claimed.

Officials said the searches and surveys started on Tuesday morning and were conducted by a team of around 100 officials. In Delhi, the tax department teams also visited areas in New Friends Colony and Sainik Farms, and a few farmhouses in Bijwasan and in south Delhi, they said.

Some documents and computer hardware have been seized from these premises, the officials said.

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  1. S
    saurabhverma
    May 18, 2017 at 2:05 am
    Desh Bhar mein karoron Lalu...! Itna chaara shayad nahin hoga desh mein sir...!
    Reply
    1. S
      Sankaran Krishnan
      May 17, 2017 at 6:43 pm
      This is the reason all the scamsters and Looters are joining together because these looters formed or joined the S companies to transfer the loots and thus show of UNITY whereas the s companies will bomb these Corrupt Politicians and hope the jalras of Communists leaders are not involved and let us see the expose which will reveal the true colours of the Looters of the Nation !!!
      Reply
      1. R
        Rajesh Karan
        May 17, 2017 at 10:39 am
        Lalu has only replaced "afjal guru" in his dialogue. pathetic. He ate up whatever was available in Bihar, some twenty years ago, be it education, public safety, health and what not.
        Reply
        1. P
          Punekar
          May 17, 2017 at 10:39 am
          BRAIN MAPPING Lalu is the only way to find the truth?
          Reply
          1. R
            rameshnk
            May 17, 2017 at 10:33 am
            Lallu Ghotala Yadav is a fountain of corruption. If he is still raoming about it is only thanks due to UPA. This guy deserves to be benhind the bars permanently. He is getting unue media bytes thanks to antiModi English media. Otherwise what is this scioundrel's worth. Nitish has mad e a huge error of Judgement in tying up with this master thief. He has lost the sheen due entirely to Laoo. Sooner he comes out of this better for him and for Bihar.
            Reply
            1. C
              Chandra Sekaran VT
              May 17, 2017 at 10:20 am
              It is sad to see an exconvict out on bail for crimes against poor farmers,this country gives so much leave way to come before media and boast ,talking irrelevant things. Is it not sad that exconvict are not prevented from talking to the press to communicate through the media that this is a witch hunt,where as everybody knows how much this fellow lallu and his family has looted and looting.His uneducated sons are following the dirty path of their parents with a sense of en lement.Will modi ji look into this mockery and make judiciary changes so that lallus donot get the bail.
              Reply
              1. A
                Arvind
                May 17, 2017 at 9:15 am
                Gujarat Safron Thugs after EVM Tampering Turning them Dictators targeting only opposition mainly Arvind kejrival., Mamata banerjee, Lalu, Veer Badra Singh, Chidambram, Mayawati. They have not leaned lesson what has happaned to Saddam and gaddafi who too taget oppostion on lies to promote dictatorship. Misuse of CBI, EC, NIA and evevery single agency under them. They doing nothing against their own in Vyapam, lalit Gate, DDCA scam, Hydelpower scam, fake degrees and hundreds such crimes.
                Reply
                1. R
                  rameshnk
                  May 17, 2017 at 10:36 am
                  Mr.Arvind if you have got prooof that the people you mention are innocnets please provide them. Are not these the same people who were challenging Modi day in day out where is that 15 Lakh. So please ask your freinds to donate a part of this looted money from us to PM fund so that it can be distrubuted to you and us.
                  Reply
                2. A
                  AMM
                  May 17, 2017 at 9:01 am
                  Why only opposition leaders are targeted, what about BJP corrupt politicians . This shows hypocrisy of the government
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    Nisar Khan
                    May 17, 2017 at 8:27 am
                    Please no complacency and rigmaroles. Devote maximum time to high profile politicians and civil servants' cases. Fish spoils from the head. Chop the head of the rotten fish. Lalu is a thief, thug and murderer. Hang the !
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                    1. M
                      Masud Khan
                      May 17, 2017 at 10:57 am
                      yes, that's the way to it. chopping the head will send shivers down the body, so no bureaucrat dare indulge in corruption.
                      Reply
                    2. D
                      devender
                      May 17, 2017 at 7:08 am
                      In Any 's Novel "fountainhead", the villian always promotes mediocers to the top job so that he will have full control and play them around like puppets. In Indian democracy, Leftist elites and mainstream media are the villians. They always promote dumb duffer politicos like Lalloo, Rahul, Congress etc. They know that these politicos are incapable of ru and will need support of them, the left libbos. And these left libbos rule through them.
                      Reply
                      1. V
                        vivek
                        May 17, 2017 at 6:57 am
                        great work and eye opener for loud mouthed who pretend to take up cause of farmers and backwards are actually seen fil up their own coffers in their name.
                        Reply
                        1. P
                          Poda De
                          May 17, 2017 at 5:19 am
                          Look at the total absence of any credibility in the talk of Opposition leaders - when Surgical Strike became a precise success, they cried that the credit must go to Army and NDA Government had no role (although any aggressive action of Defence Services happens only on timely intelligent decision of the ru party) and now when IT & ED departments do successful operations as their routine work with no political interference & bring out the skeletons, blame is put on NDA that it is Government's vendetta ! Vare Wah !
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            SK Gupta
                            May 17, 2017 at 5:05 am
                            Put corrupt politicians and bureaucrats behind bars. They loot the country and the the poor are the most affected!!
                            Reply
                            1. N
                              Nisar Khan
                              May 17, 2017 at 8:29 am
                              These political pros. utes shall be cir cized, b ed on their forehead, thief, chara chor
                              Reply
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