If the latest advertisements of the Income Tax Department are anything to go by, The Benami Property Transactions Act 1988 has come into action with effect from November 1, 2016.
In the recent past, the Modi government has initiated a series of measures to curb the menace of black money in the country. The latest structures reinforce the message loud and clear.
“Do not enter into benami transactions,” reads the advertisement issued by the Income Tax Department.
“Black money is a crime against humanity. We urge every conscientious citizen to help the government in eradicating it,” said the Income Tax Department urging the people to act as responsible citizens.
The offenders are likely to face the music as the punishment under the Act entails rigorous imprisonment as well as payment of fine.
“Benamidar (in whose name benami property is standing), beneficiary (who actually paid consideration) and persons who abet and induce benami transactions are prosecutable and may get RI up to 7 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 25 per cent of fair market value of benami property.” Over and above the punishment and fine, the government can attach and confiscate the benami property.
The government has already registered 230 cases under the Act after initiating the demonetization exercise. Assets worth Rs 55 crores, which include bank accounts, agricultural land, flats, have also been attached by the government authorities.
The IT sleuths, in close association with the banks and other financial institutions, are keeping a close vigil on various financial transactions.