The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday filed a second chargesheet against Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter Misa Bharti in a money laundering case before a Delhi court, PTI reported. The investigating agency had already filed a chargesheet on December 23.
The court said it would consider both chargesheets on February 5. Bharti’s husband Sailesh Kumar has also been named in the two chargesheets.
Special Judge NK Malhotra reprimanded the Enforcement Directorate for filing complaints repeatedly and not letting the trial begin. The Enforcement Directorate’s counsel had sought time to make further submissions in the matter.
“Will you let the trial begin or keep filing complaints?” Malhotra was quoted as saying. “How many supplementary chargesheets will you file? You are a premier investigating agency. You cannot behave like this. It is an ill-drafted complaint.”
On September 5, the Enforcement Directorate had attached a farmhouse in South Delhi’s Bijwasan in connection with this investigation. The farmhouse, which is in the name of suspected shell company M/s Mishail Packers and Printers Private Ltd, was attached provisionally under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The agency said it was bought using Rs 1.2 crore laundered in 2008-’09.
Bharti and Kumar are being investigated for allegations that they acquired benami ownership of land at subsidised rates. A benami property is one bought in an individual’s name, though the real beneficiary is someone else.
In July, the Enforcement Directorate raided three properties in New Delhi that allegedly belong to the couple. If convicted, they face up to seven years in jail and a heavy fine under the Benami Transactions Act. They are accused of having links with the suspected shell company.
In May 2017, the agency arrested chartered accountant Rajesh Agarwal for his alleged involvement in the money laundering racket worth Rs 8,000 crore. Agarwal’s arrest was also connected to an investigation by the Income Tax Department into dubious land deals worth Rs 1,000-crore linked to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family.
In July, the CBI registered a case against Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejaswi Yadav on allegations of corruption during his tenure as railway minister in 2006. The investigative agency had raided more than 12 locations, including their houses in Delhi, Gurugram, Patna, Ranchi and Puri.