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I-T department attaches `300-crore benami assets of Bhujbal and family

'Benami' assets worth Rs 300 crore of NCP leader Chagan Bhujbal and his family have been attached by the Income Tax Department, which has slapped charges under a newly enacted criminal law against them.
The department said the assets were allegedly created by them using a maze of about four dozen shell companies.
In fresh trouble for the jailed former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, the I-T department has issued notices for provisional attachment of assets of Bhujbal, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer Bhujbal, and has identified them as "beneficiaries" of the alleged benami assets.
The attachment notice has been issued under Section 24(3) of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 2016 (where the taxman thinks the person in possession of the property held benami may alienate the property).
The immovable assets attached under the order include Girna sugar mills in Nashik valued at over Rs 80.97 crore and multi-storeyed residential building Solitaire in Mumbai's Santacruz West area valued at more than Rs 11.30 crore.
While the mills are in the name of Armstrong Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, the house is in the name of Parvesh Construction Pvt Ltd.
The attachment also includes the Habib Manor and Fatima Manor building in Bandra West area of the Maharashtra capital valued at over Rs 43.61 crore (benamidar: Parvesh Construction Pvt Ltd) and a plot of land in Panvel in Raigad valued at over Rs 87.54 crore (benamidar: Devisha Infrastructure Pvt Ltd).
While the total cost of the attached 'benami' assets has been valued at over Rs 223 crore, the department has said the "market value" of the assets is more than Rs 300 crore.
The department has identified a total of 44 shell companies which "invested" funds in two of the three firms identified as 'benami' in the order.
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