As the name indicates Benami property means a property without a name.
In such kind of a transaction, the person who pays for the property does not buy it under his/her own name and motive behind such a transactions of this nature is to evade payment of tax. Any asset movable or immovable, any security, legal document, gold etc which are held or transferred in any other name are covered under Benami property.
If the buyer cannot disclose his income at the time of purchase the transaction is considered as Benami Transaction and the property becomes a Benami Property. Lease of immovable property in the name of another for a fictitious consideration also comes under Benami transaction.
For Example, if a businessman, named A, purchase a flat in the name of B, his driver and the source of income is not disclosed by Mr.A then the flat becomes the Benami property and the Mr.B becomes the Benamidar. Hence Benamidar is the person whose name is appeared on the paper i.e. the person on whose name the Benami property is bought, held or transferred.
According to the amendment made in Benami Transactions Prohibition Act, 1988 there will be seven years imprisonment and fine and/or confiscation of property without any compensation whatsoever.
If I relate this amendment with above example it is clear that benamidar, Mr. B is held liable for seven years imprisonment, fine and/or confiscation of property if he fails to explain the source of income for purchasing such a flat. Now if Mr.B revealed that the actual owner was Mr. A then the same punishment is applicable on Mr. A without any compensation.
Now there are certain myths in the mind of people regarding properties which are in the name of their wife, daughter or any other relative. Any property, be it in the name of your relatives or joint, if you are able to produce the source of income to the relevant authority, it cannot be called Benami Property. Hence if the source of income is disclosed then those properties are outside the purview of Benami Property.
Republished with Amendment