IT department attaches Shah Rukh Khan's seaside Alibaug farmhouse, labels property 'benami'

IT department sends a legal notice to Shah Rukh Khan over wrongful use of his Alibaug property

IT department sends a legal notice to Shah Rukh Khan over wrongful use of his Alibaug property

The Income Tax (IT) department has provisionally attached Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's Alibaug farmhouse under the new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2016. Spread over 19,500 sq ft, the property has a circle rate of Rs 146.7 million.

Since Khan could not have purchased the said land in his individual capacity, a mechanism was devised in the form of Deja Vu, which showed its activity as farming.

The farmhouse has swish comforts like swimming pool, a private beach and a helipad. Moreshwar Ajgaonkar, a director of Deja Vu Farms, is mentioned as the property owner, and has called himself an agriculturalist.

During the course of investigation, which is going on for the past six months, I-T officials recorded the statements of Shah Rukh Khan's in-laws - Namita Chibba and Savita Chibba (sister and mother of Gauri Khan, respectively) as they were allegedly used as the fake directors of Deja vu Farms.

The report highlights that "The Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act bars transfer of agricultural lands to non-agriculturists without the permission of the collector or state government".

Attachment can be done for not more than 90 days from issuance of the notice. Once the adjudication authority confirms the attachment, I-T authorities can initiate criminal action too. It also allows for prosecution of the beneficial owner, the benamidar and the abettor to benami transactions, which may result in rigorous imprisonment up to seven years and a fine of up to 25 per cent of fair market value of the property.

The attachment notice was issued under the Prohibition of Benami (unnamed) Property Transactions Act (PBPT) in December, English-language daily Business Standard reported Tuesday.

The matter first came to light in 2017 when Raigad District Collector Vijay Suryavanshi claimed that the actor's property was among 87 farmhouses on which the collector's office had sought legal opinion.

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