New Delhi: Properties worth over Rs 800 crore are under attachement in more than 400 proxy transaction cases identified since the amended law came into effect, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. "More than 400 benami (proxy) transactions have been identified since the amended law came into effect. Provisional attachment of properties under the Act has been done in more than 230 cases," Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply.
"The market value of properties under attachment is more than Rs 800 crore. The benami properties attached include bank deposits and immovable properties," he said. The government has set up 24 Benami Prohibition Units across India for taking action under the Benami Act. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988, was comprehensively amended through the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2016, to provide for an effective regime for prohibition of benami transactions. The amended Act, 2016, came into effect from November 1, 2016. The act prohibits benami transactions and empowers authorities specified in the act to provisionally attach and eventually confiscate the benami properties. It also provides for prosecution of persons found guilty of benami transactions by a competent court. The offence of entering into a benami transaction is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than one year but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to 25 per cent of the fair market value of the property.