I-T unearths 400 benami transactions

I-T unearths 400 benami transactions

Income Tax department has identified more than 400 benami transactions including deposits in bank accounts, plots of land, flats and jewellery.

It has also attached Rs 600 crore worth of properties taking recourse to the newly passed Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.

The department has attached properties in more than 240 cases. Immovable properties have been attached in 40 cases with total value of more than Rs 530 crore in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

“The Income Tax Department (ITD) has initiated actions under the new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, effective from November 1, 2016. The Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Rules, 2016, have been framed in this regard,” the I-T department said in a statement.

As per the Act, benami property includes movable or immovable property, tangible or intangible property, corporeal or incorporeal property. It empowers provisional attachment and subsequent confiscation of benami properties. It also allows for prosecution of the beneficial owner, the benamidar, the abettor and the inducer to benami transactions, which may result in rigorous imprisonment up to seven years and fine up to 25% of fair market value of the property.

In one such case in Jabalpur, a driver, was found to be the owner of land worth Rs 7.7 crore. The beneficial owner is a Madhya Pradesh-based listed company, his employer. In Mumbai, a professional was found to be holding several immovable properties in the name of shell companies which exist only on paper.

The government has set up 24 dedicated Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) across the country in the last week to expedite action an itsfollow up, especially in cases where criminality has been detected, a senior official said.

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