15 July , 2019 Fdiindia
Benami Law: I-T department attaches posh Delhi Bungalow, FDI finds of Rahul Puri, father
On Sunday, the Income Tax Department attached benami assets worth Rs. 300 crore bungalow in a posh area of Delhi, including funds worth 40 million US dollars brought from a Mauritius based entity in connection with its investigation against businessman Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, and his father.
It revealed that a provisional order of attachment against the Puri’s has been issued under the section 24(3) of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988. This law had been inoperative before it was enforced by the Modi government in November 2016.
Last month, the Income Tax Department had attached Rs. 254 crore worth of “benami” equity of Puri. This, Puri alleged, that he received from a suspect in the AugustaWestland VVIP chopper scan case through shell companies.
Additionally, Puri, who is the chairman of Hindustan Powerprojects Pvt (HPP) ltd, is also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate in the Rs, 3,600 crore VVIP chopper probe case. The central agency also got a non-bailable warrant issued against him from a local court.
“The immovable property at APJ Abdul Kalam Road was purchased utilising a foreign direct investment of USD 3 million from a British Virgin Islands based shell company, Bronson Financial Inc. on a long-term basis for the purpose of software development in 2002,” the department said.
It further said that the entire foreign direct investment was instead diverted for the acquisition of a house for use by Ratul Puri and his family. The estimated market value currently stands at Rs. 300 crore.
Another foreign direct investment amount of 40 million dollars that was kept in a company, COBOL Technologies Private Limited, is the second asset to be attached under the latest order. This amount is claimed to have been infused from a Mauritius-based firm, Pangea Emerging Infrastructure Fund Ltd.
According to a probe by the Income Tax Department, this fund is found to be a “benami” of Ratul Puri and its shares were held by Rajiv Saxena, who is a Dubai based operator who is accused in the AugustusWestland VVIP choppers probe case.
Benami assets or properties are those in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the asset has been acquired.