Patna: The income tax department (I-T) on Tuesday questioned Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav in connection with its alleged benami assets probe against them and others in land deals worth Rs1,000 crore.
Officials said the two were summoned by the department and the investigating officer (IO) of the case recorded their statements after they appeared at the I-T office.
The officials said the two are being questioned about the alleged benami assets that the department suspects have been created by them along with their other family members.
A special I-T team from Delhi has flown to Bihar capital to assist the IO of the case and take the probe forward, they said.
The department had earlier questioned Prasad’s MP daughter Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar in this case.
The department had served notices of attachment of assets in June to Lalu, Rabri, Tejashwi (former Bihar deputy chief minister) and Lalu’s daughters Chanda, Ragini Yadav and Bharti, and son-in-law Kumar.
The department had attached about a dozen plots and buildings in Delhi and Bihar, including a farm house and land in the Palam Vihar area, a residential building in the upmarket New Friends Colony area of south Delhi, nine plots on a 256.75 decimal land area in Phulwari Sharif area in Patna, where a shopping mall was being constructed, among few others in the same area in Bihar’s capital.
The department has said these alleged benami assets bear a “deed" value of about Rs9.32 crore but the taxman has estimated their current market value at Rs170-180 crore.
Benami properties are those in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the property has been purchased. The Lalu family has called these cases to be borne out of “political vendetta" against them.
The department is also expected to file a complaint in a competent court against the family in this case.