38 Benami properties seized in Jaipur, Bhilwara and Kota
The seized properties were purchased by the builders under the SC-ST category.
Jaipur: The Income Tax Department has seized 38 Benami properties in Jaipur, Bhilwara, and Kota. As per the Benami Act, these properties have been deemed illegal and hence seized. Thus far nearly 100 properties have faced similar consequences in the state. Rajasthan is among the top 5 states in the country to have 100 plus such cases.
Apart from Rajasthan, the other states who are included in the list are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar and the city of Bengaluru. The IT Department has been in news for several of its actions in recent times. Nearly 400 cases have been registered ever since the Benami Act came into effect. After the demonetization drive, there have been numerous raids by authorities leading to seizures of thousands of crores in illegal wealth. The NDA government has been targeting black money holders and their properties in order to fulfill the promise the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made during the run-up to the general elections 2014.
The seized properties were purchased by the builders under the SC-ST category. The properties belonging to SC-ST category have been bought by the general category thereby violating the rules and regulations. A property purchased using individual or partnership funds using the name of someone else is considered a Benami property. Purchasing a property on a relative or a friend’s name is also considered illegal. People keep the ownership but the documented ownership is in someone else’s name which is illegal. A fine of one-fourth cost of the property plus an imprisonment of up to 7 years can be ordered by the court for the ones accused.
The first such instance of someone getting dragged in this controversy was one Agrawal family belonging to Jaipur. Many properties from Amer, Sanganer and Chaksu have also been seized recently. A couple of college officials have also been involved in such acts recently. An increasing number of such instances is surely a cause of concern for the state authorities.