In a bid to tackle generation of black money within the country, the Cabinet recently approved the new Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Bill to curb unaccounted-for wealth stashed away in foreign bank accounts.
Details of the Bill:
- The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015 provides for attachment and confiscation of benami properties and imposes fine with imprisonment.
- Apart from confiscation, the Bill provides for prosecution and aims to act as a major avenue for blocking generation and holding of black money in the form of benami property, especially in real estate.
- The Bill defines benami transaction as an arrangement where a property is held by a person (other than in fiduciary capacity) on behalf of another person who has paid for it; or the transaction is made for a property in a fictitious name; or the owner of the property is not aware of or denies knowledge of such ownership. A benamidar is a person or fictitious person in whose name the property is held or transferred.
- The Bill restricts the right of any person who is claiming to be the real owner to recover such property. In addition, no person shall be able to re-transfer such property to the beneficial owner.
- The Bill provides that the Adjudicating Authority and the Appellate Tribunal established under the Prevention of Money laundering Act, 2002, shall also be the same for the purposes of this Act.
The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act was earlier enacted in 1988, but the rules could not be formulated.
For further reference: http://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/the-benami-transactions-prohibition-bill-2011-1911/.
Sources: The Hindu.