IT dept tightening noose around Mukhtar Ansari in benami assets case via interrogation of aides

Share this post on:

Lucknow, June 22: According to official sources, the Income-Tax department is interrogating an accused associate of gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari in connection with its continuing inquiry into the former legislator’s ownership of alleged benami assets.

According to sources, the anti-benami assets team of the I-T department located here is recording Ganesh Dutt Mishra’s testimony after the Uttar Pradesh Police detained him in Ghazipur and turned him over to tax investigators.

On June 20, Mishra, 56, was arrested by Ghazipur Police on the orders of the tax department. According to reports, the Income Tax authorities will record his statement regarding Ansari’s alleged benami assets and then allow him to go.

After issuing a preliminary order in April under the terms of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act of 2016, the department’s benami assets investigation section in Lucknow attached property located at ‘Mauja Kapurpur NZA under Sadar Tehsil’ in said district.

In May, the tax authority seized an asset with an estimated market worth of over Rs 12 crore.

According to the I-T ruling, the benamidar in this case was identified as Mishra, an alleged acquaintance, and neighbour of Ansari, while the “beneficial owner” was Ansari. Benami means ‘no name’ or ‘without a name,’ and they are properties in which the true beneficiary is not the person in whose name the property was acquired.

The attachment of this land tract in Ghazipur is part of a “comprehensive” action initiated by the tax department against Ansari and his colleagues as part of the operation “panther”.

Income Tax agency sources have stated that they are seeking to attach around 22 additional suspected benami properties of Ansari, with a market worth of more than Rs 100 crore. Ansari is facing 61 criminal charges in several states, six of which he has already been convicted in.

A Varanasi court sentenced him to life in jail earlier this month for the murder of a Congress leader’s brother, Awadhesh Rai, more than 30 years ago. In April, a Ghazipur court sentenced him to ten years in prison under the Gangsters Act.