Tax sleuths have seized benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore to date

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The Income Tax Department has confiscated assets worth Rs 6,900 crore till now, as part of its action under the anti-benami transactions law, the agency said in a public advertisement on Tuesday.

The message issued in dealing dailies said people who “abet and induce” benami transactions, benamidar (in whose name benami property is standing) and bene­ficiaries (who pay money consideration) are prosecutable and may face rigorous imprisonment up to 7 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 25 per cent of fair market value of benami property.

The message said people who furnish false information to authorities under the law — Prohibition of Benami Pro­perty Transactions Act, 2016 — are prosecutable and may be jailed up to five years besides being liable to pay fine up to 10 per cent of fair market value of the property. "We urge every conscientious citizen to help the government in eradicating it," the message added.

Action under the new law will be in addition to the I-T Act, 1961, it added.

A benami transaction is an arrangement in which a property (movable or immovable) is transferred to or held in the name of one person (benamidar) but is actually owned and enjoyed by another person (beneficial owner).

The tax department started initiating action under this law, implemented by the Modi government, from November 1, 2016.

The I-T Department is the nodal department to enforce the anti-benami law in the country

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