VIJAYAWADA: The Income Tax department has issued provisional attachment orders for 30.83 acres of land belonging to Penchalapadu Renukamma, wife of Labour Minister Gummanur Jayaram, in Kurnool district after establishing the fact that it was benami property. Jayaram. however, claimed that neither he nor his wife received any notices from the I-T department. He also stated that the land in question was purchased using the money obtained from cultivating agricultural land in his village.
According to Assistant Commissioner (I-T, BPU - Hyderabad) Manisha Tomar, Jayaram’s wife was served notice under Section 24(1) of Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, on October 31, 2022, seeking clarification over income sources to purchase 30.83 acres of land at Aspari, failing which the land will be provisionally attached for 90 days.
The I-T department also noticed that the 30.83 acres are part of a bigger land parcel of approximately 180 acres and Jayaram allegedly purchased it in the name of his wife, family members and associates on March 2, 2020.
“Inspite of providing several opportunities to Renukamma, she has neither appeared for personal deposition nor reveal the sources of purchase of the subject property. Also, the income profile of Renukamma is not commensurating with the sale consideration amount of `52.42 lakh paid towards the purchase of the subject property,” according to the order.
It stated that enquiries in the case and from the evidence gathered, it has been found that Jayaram purchased the property in the name of his wife and the entire sale consideration was paid in cash.
“However, the income profile of Jayaram shows that he does not have declared sources of income to make the payment and it is very much evident that the payments have been made from his unaccounted income,” reads the notice, adding that Jayaram ‘accepted beneficial ownership’ of the property and told that he had purchased the land from Ittina Manjunath in a media engagement.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Jayaram, however, denied it was a benami property. The minister claimed that he purchased the land with the income from cultivating agricultural land in his village. “I purchased the land in the name of my wife and my brother’s wife. I have close to 100 acres of agricultural land in my village. I used the income accrued from that land to purchase the land,” he asserted.