New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to RJD MP Misa Bharti after it recently conducted raids against her and her husband in connection with a Rs 8,000 crore money laundering case. Bharti, daughter of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, has been asked to depose before the investigating officer of the case here tomorrow, officials said today.
She has also been asked to bring along certain documents, including those related to her personal finances, they said. Her husband Shailesh Kumar was summoned today but he skipped. On July 8, the central probe agency had raided three Delhi premises of Bharti, Shailesh and a firm allegedly linked to them in the money laundering probe involving shell companies.
The ED action came a day after the CBI had raided multiple premises of the RJD chief and his family in a corruption case. Three farmhouses of Bharti, her husband and one registered in the name of Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited were searched by the ED.
The agency now wants to question Bharti and confront her with certain documents seized by it. The latest summons and searches are connected to the Rs 8,000 crore money laundering probe being conducted by the ED against two Delhi-based businessmen brothers – Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Jain – and others who are alleged to have laundered several crore of rupees using over 90 shell companies.
The Jain brothers were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate earlier under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). One of the firms that the brother-duo dealt with was Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited. Bharti and her husband were allegedly directors of this firm in the past.
The agency said it was detected that 1,20,000 shares of Mishail Printers and Packers private limited were bought during 2007-08 at a rate of Rs 100 per share by four shell companies — Shalini Holdings Limited, Ad-Fin Capital Services (India) Pvt. Ltd, Mani Mala Delhi Properties Pvt. Ltd, and Diamond Vinimay Pvt. Ltd. These 1,20,000 shares, it said, were bought back by Bharti at Rs 10 per unit.
The ED had also arrested Rajesh Agarwal, a Chartered Accountant allegedly linked to Bharti, who provided accommodation entries (black funds) of about Rs 60 lakh to Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited. The searches, they said, are part of investigations to unravel these links which allegedly routed black money using the shell companies in question.
Shell companies are firms set up with nominal paid up capital, high reserves and surplus on account of receipt of high share premium, investment in unlisted companies and no dividend income or high amount of cash-in-hand.
The ED is the third central body probing the alleged financial irregularities by the Lalu Prasad family after the CBI and the Income Tax department which recently attached benami assets worth about Rs 180 crore (market value) in its investigation against them.