Delhi High Court says no coercive action be taken against Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain under the amended benami law
New Delhi, Sep 21 (Bureau) Delhi High Court after hearing the petitions passed an order that no coercive action shall be taken against Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain under the judgment of Supreme Court on Benami law. Justice Yashwant Varma after hearing a number of petitions by Jain and others against the initiation of proceedings under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 passed the order and adjourned the matter for further hearing on October 10. Government Counsel for the Income Tax Department prayed for accommodation on account of the Solicitor General not available. He sought time to go through the each petition before addressing submissions in light of the Supreme Court judgment. In view of the adjournment is being sought on behalf of the Government, the Court directed that no coercive or otherwise, shall be taken against the petitioners here under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.
The Supreme of India has held in a case that Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 did not have retrospective application and the authorities cannot initiate or continue confiscation proceedings for transactions entered into prior to the coming into force of the legislation. Counsel for Jain had filed a petition in 2017 against the proceedings initiated against him under the new Benami law by submitting that the Benami proceedings against him were in the nature of political persecution. Counsel further submitted that the alleged Benami transactions, from the proceeds of which certain attached assets were claimed to have been purchased, took place between 2011 to March 31, 2016 so the amendment which came into effect in November 2016 would not apply. Counsel submitted that either the proceedings under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act be stayed or the adjudicating authority be directed not to pass a final order till his petition in the high court is decided.