To keep a strict vigil on the corrupt Government officials, the Gujarat Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) has decided to start up a cell to examine cases under the Benami Property Transactions Act. Till now, only the IT department has been running such cell in the city.
In recent times, ACB has come across many cases of disproportionate assets. So, in wake of such problems, the agency officials have decided to start this cell in coordination with the Income Tax department.
Giving more information on the cell, a senior ACB official said, “As we were coming across the benami property cases in various investigations, we decided to dedicate a cell to probe cases under the Benami Property Transactions Act, with help and coordination from the I-T department.”
He further said that in initial stages two ACB officials will head the cell who were already given training by a Delhi-based I-T officer on May 12. However, the size of the cell will increase in future depending upon the number of cases.
Both ACB and IT department officials will work for hand in hand under this cell. For example, if the ACB get any information about Benami Property case, then after the initial investigation it will be handed over to Income tax department where further investigation will take place. Moreover, it will also help ACB to substantiate cases of corruption.
The ACB has also demanded that new law officers must be appointed to help the agency secure convictions in corruption cases. These officers will work as ‘Pairavi officers’ of the CBI, who help investigators approach, the cases in a foolproof legal manner.
The Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, was amended in 2016 after the demonetization scenario. Under the new provisions, those officers who will be found guilty under the act will undergo an imprisonment ranging from 1 to 7 years. He/she will also have to pay a penalty of 25% of the market value of the property.