I owe my thanks to readers for their response to make the first edition of the book instant success. This encouraged me to revise it and gave me an opportunity to have a relook at the substantive provisions of the Benami Act. The Benami law is punitive involving attachment and confiscation of the property as also imprisonment up to seven years and therefore, very scary The department has been issuing notices even in cases where the very ingredients of benami transactions are missing, not out of any malice but due to absence of precedents to guide them and lack of instructions and guidance material from the department to show them the path. Likewise, people are ignorant and struggling with the provisions of Act to find how to defend. Books and material in the market, though some of them are very good yet not adequate enough tohelp them out of the problem.
Recently Delhi High court asked the Department to clarify how the Benami Act would be administered especially the concept of retrospectivity in relation to 20-30 years old cases since 1988 many of which would have gone all the way to the Supreme court and has also asked whether assets held now by a company, in which accommodation entries have been made in the past, would be construed as being a Benami transactionSuch questions and many other similar not only bother the court, but also the department and the taxpayers.