Prohibition of benami transactions (Section 3).
1. No person shall enter into any benami transaction.
2. Whoever enters into any benami transaction shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both.
3. Whoever enters into any benami transaction on and after the date of commencement of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, shall, notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2), be punishable in accordance with the provisions contained in Chapter VII.]
Penalty for benami transaction (Section 53 under Chapter VII), inserted by the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, w.e.f. 1-11-2016:-
(1) Where any person enters into abenami transaction in order to defeat the provisions of any law or to avoid payment of statutory dues or to avoid payment to creditors, the beneficial owner, benamidar and any other person who abets or induces any person to enter into the benami transaction, shall be guilty of the offence of benami
(2) Whoever is found guilty of the offence of benami transaction referred to in sub-section (1) shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year, but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to twenty-five per cent of the fair market value of the property.
Section 2(8) “benami property” means any property which is the subject matter of a benami transaction and also includes the proceeds from such property;
Section 2(9) “benami transaction” means,—
(A) a transaction or an arrangement—
(a) where a property is transferred to, or is held by, a person, and the consideration for such property has been provided, or paid by, another person; and
(b) the property is held for the immediate or future benefit, direct or indirect, of the person who has provided the consideration,
except when the property is held by—
(i) a Karta, or a member of a Hindu undivided family, as the case may be, and the property is held for his benefit or benefit of other members in the family and the consideration for such property has been provided or paid out of the known sources of the Hindu undivided family;
(ii) a person standing in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of another person towards whom he stands in such capacity and includes a trustee, executor, partner, director of a company, a depository or a participant as an agent of a depository under the Depositories Act, 1996 (22 of 1996) and any other person as may be notified by the Central Government for this purpose;
(iii) any person being an individual in the name of his spouse or in the name of any child of such individual and the consideration for such property has been provided or paid out of the known sources of the individual;
(iv) any person in the name of his brother or sister or lineal ascendant or descendant, where the names of brother or sister or lineal ascendant or descendent and the individual appear as joint-owners in any document, and the consideration for such property has been provided or paid out of the known sources of the individual; or
(B) a transaction or an arrangement in respect of a property carried out or made in a fictitious name; or
(C) a transaction or an arrangement in respect of a property where the owner of the property is not aware of, or, denies knowledge of, such ownership;
(D) a transaction or an arrangement in respect of a property where the person providing the consideration is not traceable or is fictitious.
Explanation. — For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that benami transaction shall not include any transaction involving the allowing of possession of any property to be taken or retained in part performance of a contract referred to in section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (4 of 1882), if, under any law for the time being in force,—
(i) consideration for such property has been provided by the person to whom possession of property has been allowed but the person who has granted possession thereof continues to hold ownership of such property;
(ii) stamp duty on such transaction or arrangement has been paid; and
(iii) the contract has been registered;
Section 2(10) “benamidar” means a person or a fictitious person, as the case may be, in whose name the benami property is transferred or held and includes a person who lends his name;
Section 2(12) “beneficial owner” means a person, whether his identity is known or not, for whose benefit the benami property is held by a benamidar;