ED files money laundering charges against Lalu’s daughter Misa Bharti, her husband
The farmhouse, located at 26, Palam Farms in south Delhi’s Bijwasan area was attached provisionally under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a charge sheet against Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti and her husband, Shailesh Kumar, in a money-laundering case on Saturday.
The charge sheet, filed before a special court in Delhi’s Patiala House court, claimed that the accused tried to launder black money through two brothers – identified as Surendra Kumar and Virendra Jain. “The Jain brothers planned to launder the cash through placement of funds, layering of transactions and final integration into the banking channel,” the ED said.
The enforcement agency alleged that Bharti and her husband created a maze of shell companies with the help of the Jain brothers, a chartered accountant and mediators . A firm called Mishail Packers and Printers, according to them, was allegedly used to launder Rs 1.2 crore for buying a property at 26 Palam Farms in South Delhi’s Bijwasan area. The farmhouse has already been attached by the ED.
In July, the directorate conducted raids at Palam Farms – besides the residential premises of Bharti, her husband and a few others – as part of its probe against the Jain brothers. The brothers were arrested and charge-sheeted by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act earlier this year.
The agency also arrested and charge-sheeted a chartered accountant, Rajesh Agrawal, who allegedly mediated and provided a cash amount of “Rs 90 lakh to the Jain brothers in advance, so as to invest in Mishail Packers and Printers as share premium”.
The charge sheet filed against Bharti and her husband is part of the ongoing probe into the alleged use of shell companies by the Jain brothers to route black money into legitimate banking channels. The ED caught a whiff of these transactions after it intensified its probe against shell companies after the Centre’s demonetisation initiative.
“We began investigating this case after the government announced that it would demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes late last year. The Jain brothers are involved in laundering money running into several thousands of crores. Our probe into their dealings is still on,” a top ED official told HT on the condition of anonymity.
However, the source of the black money laundered by Bharti and her husband is yet to be identified , the official said. The matter is being probed by multiple agencies, including the ED, Central Bureau of Investigation and the Income Tax department, he added.
Incidentally, a special CBI court convicted Lalu Prasad and 15 others in a 21-year-old fodder scam case on Saturday. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on January 3.