The I-T department had initiated a nationwide operation to identify suspect bank accounts where huge cash deposits.
New Delhi: The Income-Tax (I-T) department has issued 87 notices and attached bank deposits worth crores in 42 cases nationwide under the newly enforced Benami Transactions Act post-demonetisation, which attracts a heavy penalty and rigorous jail term of a maximum 7 years. The I-T department had initiated a nationwide operation to identify suspect bank accounts where huge cash deposits have been made post November 8 when the government demonetised the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
The decision to slap the stringent provisions of the Benami Transactions Act was taken after analysing serious cases where the illegalities were blatant and suspect cash was deposited in either benami accounts or Jan Dhan or dormant accounts.
“After in-depth investigations, the I-T department has issued 87 notices under Section 24 of the said Act (notice and attachment of property involved in benami transaction). A total of 42 properties, largely monies worth crores in bank accounts and an immovable property, of benamidars have been attached,” said officials. The act empowers the taxman to confiscate and prosecute both the depositor and the person whose illegal money he or she has “adjusted” in their account.
“Such an arrangement where a person deposits old currency of `500 and `1,000 in the bank account of another person with an understanding that the account holder shall return his money in new currency, the transaction shall be regarded as benami transaction under the said Act,” said the officials.
“The person who deposits old currency in the bank account shall be treated as beneficial owner and the person in whose bank account the old currency has been deposited shall be categorised under this law as a benamidar,” he added.
The Benami Act, the official had said, provides that the benamidar, the beneficial owner and any other person who abets or induces the Benami transaction, shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a period ranging from 1-7 years.