After Demonetization, is Benami Property next?

The Government’s recent move of demonetization [of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes] has been termed by many as a “surgical strike” on black money.  Since then, there are rumors floating around that “Benami” Properties would most likely be the next “target” under the government’s agenda.

In this blog, we have tried to put this in the right perspective.

So, what is a “Benami” Property?

To recap from our last blog article, a Benami property is one where a property is paid by one person, and that property is registered in the government’s records under a fictitious name.  Hence the term Benami – “without name”. Read More

Benami Act 1988 amended

Real Estate sector is evolving at a tremendous pace after the introduction of the Real Estate Act, 2016 and the Goods and Services Tax, Act.  Adding steam to this is the new add on to the platter, the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 (“Benami Amendment Act, 2016”). The first question that strikes our mind is why there is so much buzz about the Benami Amendment Act, 2016, when we already had the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 (Benami Act, 1988) in force?

The Benami Act, 1988 was framed with the objective of banning transfer of benami properties and recovery of such properties. However, the act failed to achieve its purpose due to the absence of a clear definition for benami property and the lack of defined procedures for the strict implementation of the Act. This gave immense discretionary powers to the authorities and consequently, it was bluntly violated. Hence the need was felt to bring about a more stringent law to help bring an end to tax evasion and laundering of black money.

Read More