FOR DEPARTMENTAL USE ONLY
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
Room No.269, North Block,
New Delhi, dated 10th August, 2017
All the Principal CCsIT
All the DsGIT(Inv.)
The DGIT (I&CI)
I am directed to refer to Board’s letter of even number dated 02/12/2016 through which brief guidance note containing salient features of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 (the Act) [as amended by the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016] was circulated with the request to sensitize all concerned for due implementation of the new law. Further to the above, the following important issues in this regard are brought to your notice:
2. The Act is applicable since 1988:
Section 1(3) of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 reads as under:
“The provisions of section 3, 5 and 8 shall come into force at once, and the remaining provisions of this Act shall be deemed to have come into force on the 19th day of May, 1988.”
The provisions of sections 3, 5 and 8 of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 came into force w.e.f. 05.09.1988 and the remaining provisions of the Act came into force on 19.05.1988. The amended provisions of the Act (as amended by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016] came into force w.e.f. 1st November 2016.
3. Change in the implementing authorities through setting-up of dedicated Benami Probibition Unit (BPU) under each Pr. DIT(Inv):
3.1 Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Rules 2016 were notified vide GSR 1004(E) dated 25.10.2016. The Act is to be implemented through the Income-tax authorities notified by the Central Vide Notification No. SO. 3290(E) dated 25.10.2016, the Central Government directed that the Addl.CIT/JCIT/ DCIT/ACIT & TRO working in Range 1 of every Region shall act as Approving Authority (AA), Initiating Officer (IO) and Administrator, respectively. Further, vide Notification No. 3288(E) dated 25.10.2016 it was notified that the Adjudicating Authority & Appellate Authority notified under PMLA shall act as Adjudicating Authority & Appellate Tribunal, respectively under this Act also.
3.2 With a view to ensure more effective and swift action under the Act, dedicated set-up in be form or Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) has been created replacing the earlier set-up. Under the dedicated set-up, 24 BPUs have been created across the country – one éach under each Pr.DIT(Inv.)/DIT(Inv.) charge. Each BPU presently consists of I /Joint CIT (Benami Prohibition), 1 Dy./Asstt.CIT (Benami Prohibition), ITO (Benami Piohibilion) and other officers/officials. The officers of the BPUs have been assigned jurisdiction vide Notification No. S.O. 1621(E) dated 18″ May 2017 (copy enclosed). Thus, the earlier Notification No. SO 3290(E) dated 25.10.2016 stands superseded.
3.3 Duties & functions of the BPU
The BPU would have the following two-fold duties and functions to discharge —
A. All functions under the PBPT Act, 1988: Duties and functions of IO, Approving Authority and Administrator (including those relating to attachment, confiscation and management of property and prosecution of accused persons) under the Act.
B. Criminal prosecution related monitoring & coordination functions in respect of the respective charges of PDIT(Inv): In addition to the duties and functions mentioned at A above, the BPU shall also discharge duties and perform functions for effective coordination and monitoring of all matters of the respective PDIT(Inv) charges, arising out of criminal prosecutions under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 (Black Money Act) and the Income-tax Act, 1961 (Income-tax Act). Such functions include the following:
i. Building the requisite capacity in matters of criminal prosecutions;
ii. Facilitation in filing of prosecution complaints by the Officers of Investigalion Directorates in terms of overseeing the drafting of complaints (for which a check-list may