MUMBAI: In yet another blow to Chhagan Bhujbal, the former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, who is currently in prison on charges of corruption, the Income Tax Department on Wednesday attached his property worth over Rs 300 crore that was allegedly held 'benami'.
He was charged under a newly enacted criminal law dealing with benami assets.
The I-T department officials said the assets in question were created using a maze of over four dozen shell companies.
The department also sought provisional attachment of assets owned by Bhujbal's son Pankaj and nephew Sameer Bhujbal. The notices identified them as “beneficiaries” of the alleged “benami” assets.
The notice was issued under Section 24(3) of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 2016.
Earlier, Bhujbal had appealed to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court to release him so that he could vote in the presidential election, which the court allowed a couple of days ago.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was hoping to come out of jail for the first time in one and a half years when the IT Department brought new charges against him.
The assets attached include Girna Sugar Mills in Nashik valued at over Rs 80.97 crore and a multi-storey residential building Solitaire in Mumbai's Santacruz West suburb valued at more than Rs 11.30 crore. While the mills are in the name of Armstrong Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, the house is registered under the name of Parvesh Construction Pvt Ltd.
Tags: Maharashtra, Chhagan Bhujbal, benami, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Income Tax Department