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Benami Act violators to face double whammy of legal action

Black Money Is A Crime Against Humanity. We Urge Every Conscientious Citizen To Help The Government In Eradicating, The Income Tax Department Said.

PTI | Updated on: 03 Mar 2017, 04:42:09 PM

New Delhi:

The tax department on Friday warned that those who undertake Benami transactions would invite Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) of up to 7 years and such violators would also stand to be charged under the I-T Act.

In advertisements issued in leading national dailies on Friday, the Income Tax department stated: "Do not enter into benami transactions" as the Benami Property Transactions Act,1988, is "now in action" from November 1, 2016.

"Black money is a crime against humanity. We urge every conscientious citizen to help the government in eradicating," the Income Tax department said.

The department also spelled out some salient features of the new Act: "Benamidar (in whose name benami property is standing), beneficiary (who actually paid consideration) and persons who abet and induce benami transactions area prosecutable and may get RI up to 7 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 25 per cent of fair market value of bename property."

It added that "persons who furnish false information to authorities under the Benami Act are prosecutable and may be imprisoned up to 5 years besides being liable to pay fine upto 10 per cent of fair market value of benami property."

The department made it clear that the benami property"may be attached and confiscated by the government" and that these actions are in "addition to actions under other law such as Income Act, 1961."

The department, since the enactment of the law last year, against black as registered over 230 cases and attached assets worth Rs 55crore nationwide, which also coincided with against black money post demonetisation.

A total of 235 cases and instances have been registeredunder the said Act by the department till mid-February this year.

Show cause notices for attachment have been issued in 140cases where benami assets worth Rs 200 crore are involved. "In 124 cases, benami assets worth more than Rs 55 crore have been provisionally attached till now," an I-T report, accessed by PTI, had said.

The attached assets, officials had said, include depositsin bank accounts, agricultural and other land, flats and jewellery, among others. Post demonetisation on November 8 last year, the I-T department had carried out public advertisements and had warned people against depositing their unaccounted old currency in someone else's bank account. The I-T department is the nodal department to enforce the said Act in the country. The taxman had initiated a nationwide operation to identify suspect bank accounts where huge cash deposits have been made post November 8 when the government demonetised theRs 500/1000 currency notes.

Also Read: I-T dept registers over 230 cases, attaches assets worth Rs 55 crore under Benami Transactions Act


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First Published : 03 Mar 2017, 04:03:00 PM