I-T dept fines Lalu daughter

Penalty for non-compliance of summons

I-T dept fines Lalu daughter

The Income Tax Department on Tuesday slapped a penalty of Rs 10,000 on RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s MP daughter Misa Bharti for non-compliance of summons and issued her fresh summons in connection with its probe into the Rs 1,000-crore benami land deals and tax evasion case.

Misa was supposed to appear before the investigating officer of the case on Tuesday, but officials said she failed to keep the date.

The penalty has been levied under section 131 of the Income Tax Act with a show-cause notice to her in this regard, officials said.

She has now been asked to appear on June 12, they said, adding the department’s queries in this case were to be answered by Misa and not by any of her authorised representatives.

They said the summons required Misa to appear in person on Tuesday and join the investigation along with some personal financial documents.

It was not clear if Misa gave any reason to the department for her non-appearance or she sent a lawyer to represent herself, which was rejected by the department.

Misa’s husband Shailesh Kumar has also been summoned in the same case on Wednesday. The department wants to question the couple to take the probe further. Taxmen had conducted multiple searches last month.

Rajesh Kumar Agrawal, a chartered accountant reportedly linked to Misa and others, was also arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on May 22. Agrawal is said to have aided illegal transactions involving Lalu’s kin. Officials had earlier said that the summons to Misa and Kumar were part of the probe in the case and their statements will be recorded.

The couple reportedly 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. Certain other property deals were also under the scanner of the taxmen.

The department is expected to slap provisions of the newly enacted Benami Transactions Act, 1988, which became operational from November 1 last year, in this case. The law provides for a maximum punishment of seven years in jail and a fine. The action under the new law will be over and above the legal proceedings under the Income Tax Act, 1961, which relate to charges of domestic tax evasion.

Benami properties are those in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the property has been purchased.
PTI

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