Jairaj Kajla, Principal Director of Investigation, Income Tax Department, said that the income department is keeping a close watch on the everyday transactions through channels to identify Benami transactions and that the government will further intensify its efforts to track benami transactions. Kajla was speaking at seminar on ‘Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2012 and Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016’ organized by the Nagpur Branch of ICAI at Dhantoli, Nagpur.
Addressing chartered accountants at the seminar, Kajla informed that a violation under the amended act can lead to criminal prosecution and a rigorous imprisonment up to seven years. Kajla also cautioned the members that the act is bit harsh in terms of the consequences of a transaction being identified as benami. He further shared that the Income Tax Department is focusing on identifying such Benami Transactions through various technological modes. The Department is continuously receiving various ‘Suspicious Transaction Reports’ from various sectors all over the country which is being monitored for identifying persons involved in Benami Transactions. He also elaborated that under the Benami Transactions (Prohibitions) Amendment Act 2016, entire property of an individual can be confiscated by the Department without any compensation to him. Kajla also shared that due to the intensive efforts of the departments, various cases have been identified and provisional attachments have already been made including assets such as land, flats, Shops, Fixed Deposits, etc.
Kajla, along with other speakers, was formally welcomed by the branch chairman Umang V Agrawal. Agrawal during his address spoke about the huge professional opportunity for chartered accountants by representing their clients under both the acts. He further requested the members to guide the general public so that a genuine person is not adversely affected by the harsh provisions of the acts. Agrawal, on behalf of the CA fraternity, extended full support to the IT department’s exercise in unearthing benami transactions.
Also present during the seminar was Regional Council Member Abhijit Kelkar, who congratulated the branch in organizing a seminar on such a crucial subject while highlighting the larger picture that may come up in the coming days when stringent actions under both the acts will be taken. He also appreciated the department’s assessee friendly atmosphere and thanked the department for considering chartered accountants as its partners at all levels.
In the technical session, chartered Sudhir Baheti spoke on Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016. He explained the various stages involved in adjudicating a transaction as benami transaction while sharing the remedies available for a person who is covered under the act. He also explained the various provisions of the act and has also cited various judicial pronouncement on this subject.
Further, chartered accountant Kailash Jogani, elaborated about the provisions of PMLA. He dealt with the provisions of PMLA with illustrative examples and discussed about schedule offences. He informed that the act has been extended to whole of India including Jammu and Kashmir. In common terms, he said that money laundering is basically conversion of money earned through crimes, smuggling and illegal money as legal money.
SPG Mudaliar, Additional Director of Investigation, was also present during the seminar co-ordinated by chartered accountant and branch vice chairman Suren Duragkar.
Other chartered accoutants present during the seminar Kirit Kalyani (Secretary), Saket Bagdia (Treasurer), Sanjay Agrawal (Executive member), Naresh Jakhotiya, Mahendra Jain, Prem Ashutosh, RD Parakh, Rajeev Sawangikar among others.