The Income Tax Department has issued summons to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti and her husband, Shailesh Kumar, in connection with its probe into alleged Rs. 1,000 crore benami land deals and a tax evasion case.This follows the arrest of chartered acountant Rajesh Kumar Agrawal by the Enforcement Directorate on May 22. He is alleged to have aided in illegal transactions involving Mr. Prasad’s kin.Officials of the department said the department had asked Ms. Bharti, a Rajya Sabha member, and Mr. Kumar to appear before the investigating officer in New Delhi in June first week.On May 16, the department searched multiple premises of about two dozen entities connected to this case and seized documents and computer hardware.The officials said the summons issued to Ms. Bharti and Mr. Kumar were a part of the investigation and their statements would be recorded.The couple are alleged to have links with 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 taxman, the officials said.The officials had said they will apply provisions of the newly enacted Benami Transactions Act, 1988, which became operational from November 1 last, in this case. The law provides for a maximum punishment of seven years in jail and a fine.The action under this new law will be over and above the legal proceedings under the Income Tax Act, 1961, which relates to charges of domestic tax evasion.The officials had said Mr. Prasad’s kin held some of the property under their scanner in a ‘benami’ way. (Benami property are those in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the property has been purchased).Lalu blames BJPThe RJD chief, however, had sought to put up a brave face after the raids, saying he was “not scared at all” and will continue to fight against “fascist forces“.“BJP mein himmat nahi hai ki Lalu ki awaz ko daba sake… Lalu ki awaz dabayenge to desh bhar me karoron Lalu khare ho jayenge… Main gidarbhabhki se nahi darne wala hoon [the BJP does not have the courage to stifle my voice… If it tries to silence one Lalu, crores of Lalu will come forward. I am not scared of empty threats],” he had said in a series of tweets after the searches.The BJP had also accused Mr. Prasad, sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap (both Bihar Ministers) and Ms. Bharti of being involved in corrupt land deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore, and asked the Central government to probe one such transaction in Delhi.Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had alleged that these transactions were a case of quid pro quo, suggesting that money was paid in return for favour, as they dated back to the period when Mr. Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister, and dared Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take action against the RJD chief.Mr. Lalu Prasad’s official residence was the address of the owners of the firms allegedly floated by his family members, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad had said.