Income Tax Service ties Al-Jabriya court building under Benami property law
New Delhi: The Income Tax Department has provisionally tied up a building in South Mumbai named Al-Jabriya Court under the Benami Property Law initiated against its buyer, Aslina Agro & Horticulture Private Limited. This is the first action by the Income Tax Department under the Benami Transaction Ban Act. The department has tied up a property of Rs 100 crore from Al Jabriya which is located at Marine Drive, Mumbai.
This action is against the incumbent minister of the MVA government. For the uninformed, this building has been probed by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in its money laundering case against the Minister of Food and Civilian Supply of Maharashtra, Chhagan Bhujbal and his nephew Sameer regarding alleged irregularities in the construction of Maharashtra Sadan. The investigation is still ongoing.
The (ED) investigates whether Bhujbal laundered fraudulent money in Maharashtra Sadan to purchase the sea-facing building at Marin Drive from a member of the Kuwaiti royal family on behalf of his political associate and businessman Arshad Siddique.
The ED had previously found evidence showing that Siddique and Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer visited Kuwait in December 2013, met with the royal family and discussed the deal. The royal family occupied only the top floor of the Al-Jabriya court while other apartments were rented. The family have reportedly sold all of their rights to the building to Bhujbals.
The investigation against the company which bought the said building revealed that it did not have sufficient funds to purchase the building whose market value is over Rs 100 crores.
The attachment is part of the IT department’s ongoing investigation against Aslina Agro & Horticulture Private Limited. The department did not summon Bhujbal or his nephew in this case and this investigation focuses on the company and its executives.
The tax department sent a show cause notice to the company director earlier this month under section 24 (1) of the PBPT, saying he had enough information to investigate the business. For the uninitiated, Article 24 (1) deals with the notification and seizure of assets involved in benami transactions.