New Delhi: The Income Tax (I-T) department has made provisional attachment in more than 900 cases of properties valued around at Rs 3,500 crore under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act (Benami Act), which came into force on November 1, 2016 .
These attachments include plots of land, flats, shops, jewellery, vehicles, deposits in bank accounts and fixed deposits among others, said IT department on Thursday.
“The value of properties under attachment is more than Rs 3,500 crore including immovable properties of more than Rs 2,900 crore,” said I-T department.
It 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. This was corroborated from the sellers of the land as well as the brokers involved,” said the I-T department.
In another case, post demonetisation, two assessees were found depositing demonetised currency into multiple bank accounts in the names of their employees and associates among others to be ultimately remitted to their bank accounts. The total amount attempted to be remitted to the beneficial owners was about Rs 39 crore.
In yet another case, a cash amount of Rs 1.11 crore was intercepted from a vehicle with a person who denied the ownership of this cash.
Subsequently, no one claimed ownership of this cash and it was held to be benami property by the Adjudicating Authority, said the department.
Taxmen said that it had stepped-up actions under the Benami Act.
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 seven years and fine upto 25 per cent of fair market value of the property.
The department had set-up 24 dedicated Benami Prohibition Units under its Investigation Directorates all over India in May, 2017 to ensure swift action in respect of Benami properties.