The amount includes immovable properties of over Rs 2,900 crore, the taxman said (Representational image)
Stepping up its action against Benami transactions, the Income Tax Department has attached properties worth more than Rs 3,500 crore. The amount includes immovable properties of more than Rs 2,900 crore, the Income Tax Department said. The taxman had set up 24 dedicated Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) under its Investigation Directorates across the country in May 2017, it said in a press release. The Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, which came into force with effect from November 1, 2016, provides for provisional attachment and subsequent confiscation of Benami properties, whether movable or immovable.
The Income Tax Department is the nodal department to enforce the Benami Act in the country.Here are five things to know:
1. The Income Tax Department has made provisional attachment in more than 900 cases of properties under the Act, its press release dated January 11 noted.
2. The Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act also allows for prosecution of the beneficial owner, the 'benamidar' and the abettor to Benami transactions, which may result in rigorous imprisonment up to seven years and fine up to 25 per cent of fair market value of the property, the taxman said.
3. These include plots of land, flats, shops, jewellery, vehicles, deposits in bank accounts, fixed deposits etc.
4. The value of properties under attachment is more than Rs. 3,500 crore including immovable properties of more than Rs. 2,900 crore.
5. 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. This was corroborated from the sellers of the land as well as the brokers involved, according to the Income Tax Department.
The Income Tax Department had earlier warned the public to "keep away" from Benami transactions, cautioning that violations under the newly enacted law invite criminal prosecution and rigorous imprisonment up to seven years. (Read more