More than 400 benami transactions identified including bank deposits, plots of land, flat and jewellery

More than 400 benami transactions identified including bank deposits, plots of land, flat and jewellery. 24 dedicated Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) set up

More than 400 benami transactions identified

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes

New Delhi, 24th May, 2017

PRESS RELEASE

Income Tax Department Steps up Actions under Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016

The Income-tax Department (ITD) has initiated actions under the new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 (the Act) w.e.f. 1st November, 2016. The Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Rules, 2016 have been framed in this regard. As per the Act, Benami property includes movable or immovable property, tangible or intangible property, corporeal or incorporeal property. It empowers provisional attachment and subsequent confiscation of benami properties. It also allows for prosecution of the beneficial owner, the benamidar, the abettor and the inducer to benami transactions, which may result in rigorous imprisonment up to 7 years and fine up to 25% of fair market value of the property.

The Income-tax Directorates of Investigation have identified more than 400 benami transactions up to 23 May, 2017. These include deposits in bank accounts, plots of land, flat and jewellery. Provisional attachment of properties under the Act has been done in more than 240 cases. The market value of properties under attachment is more than Rs. 600 crore. Immovable properties have been attached in 40 cases with total value of more than Rs. 530 crore in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

In one case in Jabalpur, the benamidar, a driver, was found to be owner of land worth Rs 7.7 crore. The beneficial owner is a Madhya Pradesh based listed company, his employer. In Mumbai a professional was found to be holding several immovable properties in the name of shell companies which exist only on paper. In another case in Sanganer, Rajasthan a jeweller was found to be beneficial owner of nine immovable properties in the name of his former employee, a man of no means. Certain properties purchased through shell companies have also been attached by the Department in Kolkata.

The Government is keen to implement the new Benami Act in an effective manner with visible outcomes on the ground. For this purpose, 24 dedicated Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) have been set up all over India in the last week. These units are under the overall supervision of the Principal Directors of Investigation in the Income-tax Department to enable swift action and follow up, especially in cases where criminality has been detected.

In addition, the Income-tax Department, has undertaken searches on 10 senior government officials during the past one month, keeping in view its policy to unearth black money earned through corrupt practices and introduce accountability and probity in public life. The crackdown on all forms of illicit wealth is being spearheaded by the ITD to ensure that any economic misdeed is immediately identified and actions as per law follows.

(Meenakshi J Goswami)
CIT (Media and Technical Policy)
Official Spokesperson, CBDT

CIC denies directing RBI to disclose bank defaulters list in view of pending case before Supreme Court.

CIC denies directing RBI to disclose bank defaulters list in view of pending  case before  Supreme Court. It would be judicious to await the final outcome-CIC 

CIC denies directing RBI to disclose bank defaulters list

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 1263 (2017) (05) CIC

Date/Month of Pronouncement: May, 2017

Important Case Laws Cited/relied upon:
Central  for  Public  Interest Litigation Vs. Housing & Urban Development Corp. Ltd. & Ors.  

RBI Vs. Jayantilal N. Mistry

Brief Facts of the Case:
In 2013, one appellant namely, Shri Subhash Chandra Agrawal had made a RTI application to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) inter alia seeking list of bank-defaulters of public sector banks  with  outstanding above  rupees  one  crore  each,  mentioning  names  of directors/partners etc. of such defaulting companies/firms.

However, RBI had denied such information on the ground that the same is held in fiduciary capacity and is exempt from disclosure u/s 8(1)(a), (d) and (e) of the RTI Act.

The first appellate authority (FAA) upheld the order of CPIO, RBI. Aggrieved  with  the  decision  of  the  FAA, the respondent approached the Commission in second appeal.

The matter was earlier heard by the Single Bench but it was considered appropriate to refer the cases to a larger Bench, Hence, a Division Bench of the Commission  was  constituted.

Observation made by CIC:
The CIC  observed that in  a case where the petitioner requested to make public the names of defaulters in excess of Rs. 500 crores from different institutions, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2016 held as under

“The Government has therefore acting in right  earnest set  up a  Committee  to  look into the nature and extent of the problem and the proposed reforms.  The Committee, we are told has already held several meetings  and is about to finalize its report with recommendations. It will, therefore, not be proper at this stage to prevent  the Committee from taking  the  proceedings  to  their  logical  conclusion  especially  when the recommendations to be made by the Committee are  subject  to scrutiny  of  this Court as a/so of the. petitioners. As regards the Government’s resolve to reform the statutory and other mechanism for recovery of the NPAs through the DRT and SARFAESI Act we direct that comprehensive  note  indicating  the  Government’s action plan in that direction may be filed, if so advised in a sealed  cover for  the perusal of this Court.

Held:
It was held that since  a  similar  issue  is  pending  adjudication  before  the  Hon’ble Supreme Court, it would be judicious to await the final outcome from the Hon’ble Supreme Court. However, on receipt of the final outcome of the judgment, , the appellant shall be at liberty to file a second appeal afresh, if he so desires.

CIC denies directing RBI to disclose bank defaulters list
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Revision order us 263 on conducting additional enquiry on different pattern quashed when AO conducted adequate enquiry – ITAT

Revision order us 263 on conducting additional enquiry on different pattern when AO conducted adequate enquiry and took view permissible in law could not be said to be erroneous or prejudicial to the interest of Revenue – ITAT

Revision order us 263 on conducting additional enquiry

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 1262 (2017) (05) ITAT

Grievance:
The appellant assessee had challenged the order passed by the CIT u/s 263 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (‘Act’).

Assessment Year : 2009-10
Date/Month of Pronouncement: May, 2017

Important Case Laws Cited/relied upon:
Commissioner of Income Tax u. Amit Corporation
Commissioner of Income Tax v. Arvind Jewellers
CIT V/s Amit Corporation
CIT V/s Sarvana Developers
Malabar Industrial Company

Brief Facts of the Case:
The assessee was an individual . His case was selected for scrutiny under CASS. During the course of assessment proceedings u/s 143(2) the AO examined the transaction of sale of agriculture land in which the assessee was joint owner. For the purpose of long term capital gain, the assessee had adopted the fair market value as on 01/04/1981. To substantiate the quality of land and basis of reasonability of adopting the rate per sq.mt, the assessee filed a valuation report in which the FMV was calculated at a lower amount. Based on the report, the assessee offered the additional long term capital gain by submitting revised computation and paid the differential tax. The AO accepted the revised computation and valuation.

Subsequently, CIT called for the assessment records and opined that AO should have taken Jantri rate which was available for the agriculture land in question. Accordingly CIT invoked its revisionary power and issued notice u/s 263 of the Act and finally held that order passed by the AO suffered serious infirmities and was not only erroroneous but prejudicial to the interest of Revenue. CIT set aside the order of the AO for framing it afresh.

Observations made by the Tribunal:
The Tribunal observed that the AO had specifically dealt with the issue of capital gains in detail and the assessee was asked to furnish the basis of valuation of land, the quality of land and basis of reasonability of the adopting the rate for valuation purpose. The AO after giving due consideration of the assessee’s submission made a specific findings in the body of assessment order and calculated the revised long term capital gain.

It was observed that in reply to a specific query raised during the assessment proceedings, the assessee gave a specific reply which was accepted by the AO and which resulted in fetching more Revenue to the income tax department.

The ITAT noted the following observations of the Jurisdictional High Court:

“during course of framing of assessment, Assessing Officer had access to all records of assessee, and after perusing said records, he framed assessment, said assessment could not be re-opened in exercise of revision power under section 263 for making further inquiries’’.

“ It was held that since material was there on record and said material was considered by ITO and a particular view was taken mere fact that different view could be taken, should not have been basis for an action under section 263.The Commissioner was unjustified in arriving at a conclusion that order passed by ITO was erroneous and prejudicial to interest of revenue.’’

The Tribunal observed that the enquiry conducted was sufficient and was to the satisfaction of  the AO which resulted in enhancing the long term capital gain originally shown by the assessee. CIT ‘s order was directed on conducting additional enquiry on different pattern.

The ITAT opined that where adequate enquiry and observations had been clearly mentioned in the body of assessment order and the view taken by the AO was permissible in law, such assessment could not be held to be erroneous or prejudicial to the interest of Revenue

Held:
Held that the CIT had wrongly assumed the jurisdiction u/s 263 of the Act and accordingly the impugned order u/s 263 of the Act was quashed.

Revision order us 263 on conducting additional enquiry on different pattern
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Bank of India-Online Concurrent Audit Empanelment Application for 157 Branches-Last Date to apply : 05-06-2017

Bank of India-Online Concurrent Audit Empanelment Application. The application is invited for 157 Branches -Last Date to apply is 05-06-2017

Bank of India-Online Concurrent Audit Empanelment

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