NEW DELHI: The government of India (GoI) on Wednesday approved setting up of Appellate Tribunal and Adjudicating Authority for speedy disposal of cases related to benami transactions.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, law minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Earlier this month, the government notified sessions courts in 34 states and Union Territories, which will act as special courts for trial of offences under the benami transaction law.
Benami transactions refer to those made in fictitious names, or where owners were not aware of the ownership of the property, or the person paying for the property was not traceable.
According to an official release, the Adjudicating Authority and Appellate Tribunal will be based in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD). Benches of the Authority may sit in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, and the necessary notification in this regard will be issued after consultation with the chairperson of the proposed Adjudicating Authority. “The approval will result in effective and better administration of cases referred to the Adjudicating Authority and speedy disposal of appeals filed against the order of the Adjudicating Authority before the Appellate Tribunal,” according to the release.
The appointment of the Adjudicating Authority, it added, would provide the first-stage review of administrative action under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act (PBPT) Act.
Establishment of the proposed Appellate Tribunal would provide an appellate mechanism for the order passed by the Adjudicating Authority under the PBPT Act. The rules and all the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act came into force on November 1, 2016.
Ater coming into effect, the existing Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988, was renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988.