PATNA: Three prime plots of land in Patna owned by former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi and her fifth daughter Hema Yadav have been seized by the Income Tax department after the land was found to be benami properties.
The land – two plots measuring 7.75 decimil at Dhanaut and one measuring 2.5 decimal at Saguna – had come into Rabri and Hema’s possession after they received them as gifts. The original owners, who hail from the home district of Rabri’s husband and jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, used to do manual work for a living at his cattle shed.
“Neither Rabri Devi and Hema Yadav nor the two men shown in the records as the original owners and later donators could provide satisfactory explanation about the land. These were simply benami properties acquired through illegal means,” said an Income Tax department official on Thursday.
The two plots at Dhanaut were donated by Lalan Chaudhary to Rabri and one to Hema while the plot at Saguna was donated to Rabri by Hridayanand Chaudhary. While Hridayanand is now a fourth-grade employee of Indian Railways, Lalan is a fourth-grade employee in the state Assembly.
As per the land transaction documents examined by the Income Tax department, Hridayanand and Lalan, who both come from poor families, had purchased the plots of land in their names together in 2008. The duo had donated the three plots to Rabri and Hema in January 2014. Registration fees paid during the execution of the gift deeds were also shown to have been paid by the duo, said IT sources.
Hridayanand and Lalan continue to live in rented houses.
Rabri Devi and Hema had been issued notices by the IT department in August and September 2018 seeking explanation on these three plots of land. Rabri and Hema had sold these plots to RJD legislator Abu Dojana’s construction firm Meridian Construction Pvt Ltd soon afterwards, said sources.