The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday filed a supplementary chargesheet against Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti and others in a money laundering case, reported PTI.
Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar are accused of acquiring benami property at subsidised rates. A benami property is one that is bought in an individual’s name though someone else is the real beneficiary. If convicted, Bharti and Kumar will face up to seven years in jail and a heavy fine under the Benami Transactions Act.
In its chargesheet, the agency named 35 new accused – 15 individuals, including eight chartered accountants, and companies. The chargesheet was filed by Special Public Prosecutor Atul Tripathi before Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj.
In May 2017, the agency had arrested chartered accountant Rajesh Agarwal for his alleged involvement in the money laundering racket worth Rs 8,000 crore. His arrest was also connected to an Income Tax Department investigation into dubious land deals worth Rs 1,000 crore with links to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family.
The following month, the Enforcement Directorate raided three properties in New Delhi that allegedly belong to Bharti and her husband.
In its earlier chargesheet, the directorate had said the couple was actively involved in transactions and deals and were guilty of money laundering. The agency accused the two of purchasing a farm house in Delhi in the name of their company M/s Mishal Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd in 2008-’09.
The investigating agency said Bharti had claimed that her husband and their chartered accountant, the late Sandeep Sharma, had handled the firm’s day-to-day business activities. “So they can explain the company’s business profile during that period,” she had said in her statement.