BHOPAL: The income tax department has attached 25-plus Benami properties worth around Rs 25 crores to Rs 30 crores, which were held by owners of Bhopal-based Surabhi Group of institutions and their key investors in the name of others (benamidars) in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal.
The 25-plus properties attached under the provisions of Prohibition of Benami Properties Transaction Act are located in Garhmurra village and Barkheda Pathani area of Bhopal.
According to sources in the income tax department in Bhopal this is perhaps the biggest attachment of Benami properties in terms of market value anywhere in MP since the crackdown against Benami properties began in 2016-end.
The properties which have been provisionally attached include 34 acres of land held under the name of Satyam Education Welfare Society in Garhmurra village of Hujur tehsil of MP. The attached property is worth around Rs 20 crores.
Further, the attached properties included 17 residential plots worth around Rs 5 crores under the Aditya Grih Nirman Society in Barkheda Pathani area. Out of these 17 plots, 13 are owned by a key investor of the Surabhi Group in the name of individuals, spanning from his driver to domestic helps.
Also, two patches of open land measuring around 8,500 square ft and worth around Rs 3 crores, also in Barkhedra Pathani area too have been provisionally attached for 90 days.
According to a senior official of IT department’s Benami Act wing, over 20 individuals who have been found to have been holding the attached properties in the name of others (benamidars) have been issued notices under the Prohibition of Bemani Properties Transaction Act.
IT department sources told The New Indian Express that the IT searches at the properties of Surabhi Group and their close business aides carried out in Bhopal in August 2017 had resulted in the seizure of several incriminating documents, which led to these Benami properties which were attained in others name by investing unaccounted money.
With this provisional attachment of 25-plus Benami properties in Bhopal, as many as 67 properties have been attached by the Benami Act wing of IT department in MP and Chhattisgarh in this month only.
Earlier, this month 38 properties worth several crores of rupees held by two businessmen in the name of a small farmer in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh were attached.