Income Tax department on Tuesday conducted raids and surveys at 22 locations in Delhi and Gurgaon on charges of benami land deals worth Rs 1,000 crore involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Officials said the department began raiding the premises of some prominent businessmen and real estate agents in Delhi, Gurgaon, Rewari and few others since early morning on Tuesday.
The searches are also being conducted at 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, they said.
“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.
BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had recently alleged that Lalu Yadav and his family members had amassed "benami property" worth Rs 115 crore in a posh area of New Delhi through a shell company.
RJD, however, dismissed the allegations and dared Modi to get all the charges probed by a central agency.
On Sunday, RJD president Lalu Prasad rubbished money laundering charges against his daughter and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti. “There is no merit in the allegations. Legal notice is being served,” Prasad told a press conference in Patna. The charges of money laundering by a shell company against Bharti were brought by a television channel and then by senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
That shell company “does not exist at all”, the RJD chief said adding that “They are indulging in character assassination.”
Money laundering charges by Sushil Modi
Senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi recently fired a salvo at RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti alleging that she had laundered money through a shell company to buy a farmhouse at Delhi’s Bijwasan area at a throwaway price.
Sushil Modi has been hitherto alleging that Prasad’s two minister sons - Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Health minister Tej Pratap Yadav - had amassed benami properties worth over Rs 1000 crore through various shell companies in Bihar.
He claimed that Misa Bharti converted her black money into white through dubious transaction of sale and purchase of shares of her company - Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd. The company was incorporated with an investment of Rs 1 lakh in 2002 and registered at Lalu Prasad’s then official bungalow 25, Tughlaq Road, New Delhi. It was closed in 2005-06.
Bharti sold her company’s shares of face value of Rs 10 each to Virendra Jain’s Shalini Holdings at Rs 100 per share in October 2008, which fetched her Rs 1.20 crore. Eleven months later, Misa purchased all the shares at the rate of Rs 10 per share from Virendra Jain, the BJP leader alleged showing documents to support his claim.
Later in 2008-09 she purchased a farmhouse at Bijwasan area in Delhi at Rs 1.41 crore whose estimated value at present would be around Rs 50 crore, Sushil Modi, who was accompnaied by state BJP vice-president Devesh Kumar, said.
Pointing out that Misa became the owner of Rs 50 crore by investing a mere Rs one lakh, he asked “Why would anyone buy shares of a closed company at the rate of Rs 100 per share against the face value of Rs 10 each? Why would the buyer again sell the same shares at Rs 10 each after buying it at Rs 100?”Sushil Modi also alleged that Misa had misused the address of Prasad’s erstwhile official bungalow - 25, Tughlaq Road as her company’s address as such an allotment cannot be used for any commercial purpose.
Questioning her source of income, Modi sought to know why she did not reveal it in her affidavit to the Election Commission.
Virendra Jain and Surendra Jain, the two brothers and business partners in Shalini Holdings who had allegedly helped Prasad in converting black money which he had allegedly earned as railways ministers into white, were arrested by Enforcement Directorate in connection with a Rs 8000 crore money laundering case in March this year, he said.
Sushil Modi demanded that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar order a probe into the allegations of acquisition of benami properties by Prasad’s family in Bihar.The central government should probe allegations of amassing properties by the family outside Bihar, he said.
“Nitish Kumar says that his government has zero tolerance policy towards corruption. But he has not taken any action so far on allegations levelled against Prasad’s two minister sons,” the BJP leader said.
Sushil Modi has been releasing documents purportedly showing how Prasad’s family acquired assets of around Rs 1,000 crores through shell companies like Delight Marketing Pvt Ltd, A K Infosystems Pvt Ltd and A B Exports Pvt Ltd.
Asked for comment, RJD’s national spokesman Manoj Jha said “A jobless Sushil Modi has once again done today what he has specialised in in recent times.
Taking certain documents from the public domain viz. Registrar of Companies, he aims at weaving fictitious stories. He should also convey that his so-called incriminating documents are from the same appropriate authorities to whom we had submitted (documents).”
“In utter frustration for some space for himself in BJP, he is raking a decade-old genuine business transaction, which was duly reported to authorities,” Jha added.
(With Inputs from PTI)