I-T Deptt attaches benami properties worth Rs 3,500 cr

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Jan 2018 08:31:04



Benami properties include plots of land, flats, shops, jewellery, vehicles, deposits in bank accounts, fixed deposits etc.

Under the Benami Property Act, the abettor may get RI up to 7 yrs and a fine of up to 25 pc of fair market value of property


THE Income Tax Department (ITD) on Thursday said it has attached more than 900 benami properties including flats, shops, jewellery and vehicles worth over Rs 3,500 crore.
I-T Department said in a statement that it has stepped up action under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, which came into force from November 1, 2016.
The Act provides for provisional attachment and subsequent confiscation of benami properties, whether movable or immovable.

It also allows for prosecution of the beneficial owner, the benamidar and the abettor to benami transactions, which may result in rigorous imprisonment up to 7 years and a fine of up to 25 per cent of fair market value of the property.

The Department had set up 24 dedicated Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) under its Investigation Directorates all over India in May, 2017 to ensure swift action in respect of Benami properties. “Due to intensive efforts undertaken by the Department, provisional attachment has been made in more than 900 cases of properties under the Act. These include plots of land, flats, shops, jewellery, vehicles, deposits in bank accounts, fixed deposits etc,” the statement said.

The value of properties under attachment is more than Rs 3,500 crore including immovable properties of more than Rs 2,900 crore, the Department said.
Benami literally means ‘without a name’. An asset without a legal owner or a fictitious owner is called benami. The original Benami Act was introduced in 1988 for prevention of black money and was amended in 2016 to prohibit benami transactions and provides for confiscating benami properties.

I-T Deparment said that in five cases, the provisional attachments of Benami properties, amounting to more than Rs 150 crore have been confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority.

In one such case, it was established that a real estate company had acquired about 50 acres of land, valued at more than Rs 110 crore, using the names of certain persons of no means as benamidars, it said without naming the firm.