New Delhi: The Income Tax Department has attached over 1,500 ‘benami’ properties worth Rs 43 billion in the last one and half years, around the same time as the introduction of the revised benami legislation, a financial daily has reported.
According to a report in the Business Standard, Jaipur and Mumbai top the list, each with an attachment of 200 properties.
This is followed by Lucknow with an attachment of 50 properties, Kolkata at 144, Chandigarh at 110 and Hyderabad at 100 properties. Patna has seen the least number of property attachments at 30, the report added.
“The I-T department has worked swiftly in identifying benami transactions since the enactment of the revised legislation. Over 1,500 properties have been attached so far. Many are on the radar. Search and surveys are on involving gold dealers, bankers, hawala operators, senior government officials, and politicians, etc,” Business Standard quoting a senior government official wrote.
With a view to curb the menace of black money, Parliament in August 2016 had passed the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, after assurance from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that genuine religious trusts will be kept out of the purview of the legislation.
While the existing law provides for up to three years of imprisonment or fine or both for carrying out benami transactions, the amended legislation would provide for seven years imprisonment and fine.
The Act defines benami transactions, prohibits them and further provides that any violation is punishable with imprisonment and fine. The PBPT Act prohibits recovery of the property held benami from benamidar by the real owner.
While the 1988 Act had nine sections, the amended law has 71 sections.
With Agency Inputs