Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is already serving the prison term in Birsa Munda Prison in Ranchi, after conviction in fodder scam, is set to lose properties worth ₹128 crores after IT department reportedly found them violating Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.
Benami property refers to property acquired by a person, under another person’s name or simply by employing a fake name or a shell company.
17 properties owned by former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family are under scrutiny. Properties include an under construction mall in Patna, a residential property in New Friends Colony in Delhi, and a farmhouse in Palam Vihar near Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport.
These properties are alleged to have been bought by Lalu Yadav’s shell companies during his stint as Railway Minister in UPA. Later, they were transferred to Lalu’s Wife Rabri Devi, his son Tejaswi Yadav, and daughters Misa Bharti, Chanda and Ragini, and also to his son-in-law Shailesh at abysmally low rates.
According to Times of India, residential property in New Friends Colony’s declared book value is Rs 5 crore, purchased in the name of AB Exports, but later the company’s shareholdings and rights were transferred to Tejashwi Yadav at mere Rs 4 lakh. And, a farmhouse in Palam Vihar of which book value was over 40 crore, purchased in name of Mishali Packers, was subsequently transferred to Misa Bharti and his husband at meagre Rs 1.40 crore.
The under-construction mall at Patna was already seized by Enforcement Directorate in June this year, and before that construction of the same was ordered to be stopped. Other than allegations of being benami property of Lalu, it was also alleged that necessary clearances for the mall were not obtained from authorities. ED is investigating Lalu Yadav and his family members in a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
If this startling allegations hold true and are later proved, Lalu Yadav may land in prison for another seven years under the Benami Act, and will have to bear fine of 25% of market value of attached property and restriction from contesting elections for another six years.
Until the time investigation is over, attached properties can be given on lease to present inhibitors.