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The Income Tax Department on Wednesday warned people to "keep away" from benami transactions, cautioning that violations under the newly enacted law invite criminal prosecution and rigorous imprisonment up to seven years.
The department put out its alert in a public advertisement published in leading national dailies.
"Benamidar (in whose name benami proper is standing), beneficiary (who actually paid consideration) and persons who abet and induce benami transactions are prosecutable and may face rigorous imprisonment up to seven years besides being liable to pay fine upto 25 per cent of fair market value of benami property," the I-T advertisement said.
The department started initiating action under the new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 from November 1, 2016.
The advertisement added that "persons who furnish false information to authorities under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 2016, are prosecutable and may be imprisoned up to 5 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 10 per cent of the fair market value of benami property".
The I-T department is the nodal department to enforce the Benami Act in the country.