In a big setback for RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Income Tax Department on Tuesday slapped charges under the stringent Benami Transactions Act in an alleged money laundering case against his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharti and Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. Speaking to media, Tejashwi Yadav said that the case is a result of political vendetta. “Political vendetta ke aadhar par ye galat baatein chalaai ja rahi hain, (All these false allegations are being spread on the basis of political vendetta)” Tejashwi Yadav said. “Humne kuch nahi chupaya hai, humein bulaya jaayega toh hum jawab dene ke liye taiyyar hain (We have not hid anything, we’ll answer if we get a call,” Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. The registration of charges comes a day after Income-Tax Department seized Benami properties of Misa Bharti, her husband Shailesh Kumar and Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav in the case, according to news agency ANI. Earlier, Bharti had skipped two summons to appear before Delhi investigation wing of I-T dept.
The department seized the same properties that were raided in May. Earlier, owing to her failure to appear before the court, the Bharti was slapped with two separate penalties of Rs 10,000 with regard to non-compliance with the I-T department regulations, ANI had reported. Both, Bharti and her husband were summoned in the case. Earlier, Bharti’s Chartered Accountant (CA), Rakesh Agrawal, was detained 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.
CA Agrawal’s arrest came under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly being instrumental in providing accommodation entries (illegal funds) to launder the money of businessmen brothers – Virendra Jain and Surendra Jain. Speaking to the media, Lalu Prasad Yadav had earlier said that there was no merit in the allegations. Lalu, defending his daughter said, “They are indulging in character assassination” while saying that the shell company “does not exist at all.”