Lalu Yadav's daughter, Misa Bharti's Delhi home raided by Enforcement Directorate in corruption case
New Delhi: Three premises of Lalu Yadav's daughter Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar were raided by the Enforcement Directorate this morning in connection with an alleged money laundering case. During the searches at the three farmhouses located in posh localities of Ghitorni, Bijwasan and Sainik Farms, the probe agency said agency "incriminating" documents, electronic devices, including phones, have been seized. Ms Bharti and her husband are being probed over allegations that they acquired benami or proxy ownership of land at throwaway rates. The raids come a day after Lalu Yadav and son Tejashwi, Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister, were formally charged with corruption by the CBI, which on Friday raided a dozen places including their home in Patna in connection with a land scam.
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Sources said both Ms Bharti and Mr Kumar were questioned about certain documents recovered during the raids. They, however, said that this was just a brief interaction and detailed questioning will be conducted after they are served official summons.
Mr Kumar was also taken by the Enforcement Directorate to another farmhouse for the officers to seize more documents.
Ms Bharti and her husband allegedly have links with a firm - Ms Mishail Packers and Printers Private Limited - which is suspected to have entered into benami deals for purchase of a farm house in Delhi's Bijwasan area.
Last month, the couple was asked about their company Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd that tax officials believe is a shell company and the loans that Ms Bharti had taken, particularly unsecured loans that were not backed by any collateral security, to buy companies.
In all, six members of the Lalu Yadav family are suspected to have purchased properties in the name of others to conceal who really owns them. If convicted under the Benami Transactions Act, they face up to seven years in jail and a hefty fine.
Mr Yadav, in a case filed on Friday, has been accused of facilitating a contract to a private company to run hotels, as the country's Railways Minister in 2006, after receiving a bribe in the form of a three-acre plot in Patna, where a mall is being built.
The CBI has alleged a conspiracy between Mr Yadav, Sujata Hotels and a company owned by Sarla Gupta, the wife of Mr Yadav's party MP and close aide, Prem Gupta. Sujata Hotels director Vinay Kochhar sold the premium commercial land in 2005 to Sarla Gupta's company and years later, the land was transferred to Mr Yadav's wife and sons.
The 69-year-old has been rallying opposition forces against the BJP-led NDA and alleges that it's the reason he is being targeted. "This is political vendetta. They want me to bow before BJP," he charged.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, responding to the allegation, said the government and the BJP have no role in the raids. "The CBI is doing its job, which it was earlier not allowed to," he said.