Intense vigil over dubious transactions and swoop down upon unscrupulous elements led to the unearthing of Benami properties worth more than Rs 4,300 crore by the Income Tax (IT) department across India.
The IT department executed provisional attachment of properties in over 1,600 cases under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988. The Act was introduced to curb the menace of black money and ensure that real estate transactions were conducted in the name of actual owner and that the consideration was paid from known and legal sources.
The properties included land, flats, shops, vehicles, bank deposits, fixed deposits etc. of the total value of properties under attachment of over Rs 4,300 crore, immovable properties were valued at Rs 3,400 crore.
The IT department took suitable action under the Act against these benamidars and the beneficiaries. This was stated by Shiv Pratap Shukla, union minister of state for finance in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
Literally, benami means ‘without name’. As such, any assert without a legal owner or under a fictitious one is called benami. It could be a movable or an immovable property, acquired by way of benami transactions.