The income tax (I-T) department has attached property worth over Rs 600 crore since November last year after the new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act came into effect, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said on Wednesday. The board said the directorates of investigation have identified more than 400 benami transactions including deposits in bank accounts, plots of land, flats and jewellery.
Additionally, property has been provisionally attached in over 240 cases under the Act. “The market value of properties under attachment is more than Rs 600 crore. 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 board said in a statement.
Moreover, the government has set up 24 dedicated benami prohibition units (BPUs) across the country last week. These units will enable swift action and follow-up, especially in cases where criminality has been detected. The I-T department has undertaken searches on 10 senior government officials during the past one month, keeping in view its policy to unearth black money earned through corrupt practices and introduce accountability and probity in public life, CBDT said.
Detailing some of the cases under the Act, the board said in one case in Jabalpur, the benamidar, a driver, was found to be owner of land worth Rs 7.7 crore. The beneficial owner is a Madhya Pradesh-based listed company, his employer. Similarly, in Mumbai, a professional was found to be holding several immovable properties in the name of shell companies, which exist only on paper. In another case in Sanganer, Rajasthan, a jeweller was found to be beneficial owner of nine immovable properties in the name of his former employee, a man of no means.