Properties, jewelry, shares, cash and vehicles (Suspected) are being readied for attachment by the income tax department under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2016. Provisional attachment notices were issued to people this week, giving them time to explain why their properties should not be attached.

The Act has empowered the Central Board of Direct Taxes working under Union finance ministry; the income tax department is the implementing agency. On May 18, the Union gazette was published empowering officials to set up Benami Prohibition Units (BPU) under the Principal Director of income tax department (investigation wing). Two such units have been formed under the director general of income tax (investigation) BR Balakrishnan in Bengaluru and Panaji (the DG is in charge of both Karnataka and Goa directorate). The three-member unit has a joint commissioner, deputy commissioner and an administrator.

According to highly placed official sources, the Bengaluru circle has already maintained an inventory of benami properties and its owners, following searches and seizures.

Crores worth of shares held by several people of a  company and few acres of agriculture land in Whitefield said to be connected to a well-known businessman (benami) are under investigation and attachment.

As soon as the May 18 order was issued to set up Benami Prohibition Unit, the officials of investigation wing of income tax swung into action and the owners in possession or standing in their name had been issued provisional notices and given time to the property owners to reply as to why their properties should not be attached.

There are huge number of properties (BENAMI) (Apartments, sites, industrial lands and agricultural lands ) booked, under sale agreement, bought and already under possession are under scrutiny.

It is suspected that huge number of apartments are held by BENAMIS.  Huge number of apartments BOOKED by them are being cancelled and the clever and notorious sellers/builders are selling it in the open market offering it with sugar coated amenities.

Most of the PRE LAUNCH offers are booked by these BENAMIS.  The Builders hand in glove with them, had booked it to market it on a later date.


* Government can confiscate bank deposits of people using benami accounts — accounts of others/strangers used to park their unaccounted monies and convert it into white.

* Those coming under the Act — Benamidar (in whose name the benami property is) and the beneficiary (the person who actually paid for such a transaction), and
those involved (who abet and induce benami transactions) — can be prosecuted.

* They may get rigorous imprisonment up to seven years besides being liable to pay fine up to 25 per cent of fair market value of benami property.

* Persons who furnish false information under the Benami Act can also be prosecuted and imprisoned up to five years; are liable to pay fine up to 10% of fair market value of benami property.