FBR notifies adjudication benches for Benami cases

FBR notifies adjudication benches for Benami cases

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has taken a decisive step in addressing Benami cases by establishing dedicated adjudication benches in three major cities across the country.

In a notification issued on Friday, the FBR outlined the formation of these benches, each with specific jurisdiction to adjudicate cases under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 2017.

The newly established benches and their respective jurisdictions are as follows:

Bench – I (Islamabad):

• Jurisdiction: Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Islamabad Capital Territory; and Rawalpindi Division of Punjab province.

Bench – II (Lahore):

• Jurisdiction: Province of Punjab, excluding the civil division of Rawalpindi.

Bench – III (Karachi):

• Jurisdiction: Province of Sindh and Baluchistan.

The move is a strategic effort by the FBR to expedite the adjudication of Benami cases and ensure that cases are heard in a timely and region-specific manner. The establishment of these benches allows for a more focused and efficient approach to addressing Benami transactions, ultimately contributing to the government’s broader goal of eliminating fraudulent property dealings.

Benami transactions involve the holding of property or assets in the name of someone other than the actual beneficiary. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 2017, was enacted to curb such practices and promote transparency in property transactions.

The decision to set up these benches aligns with the FBR’s commitment to combat tax evasion and promote fair business practices. By creating specialized forums for Benami case adjudication, the FBR aims to streamline the legal process and ensure that cases are resolved promptly. The jurisdictional alignment of each bench with specific provinces and territories allows for a more localized and nuanced approach to addressing regional complexities.

The establishment of these benches is expected to have a positive impact on the efficiency of case resolution, reducing the backlog of Benami cases and sending a clear signal that the government is actively pursuing measures to discourage fraudulent property transactions. The move is likely to enhance the overall effectiveness of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, serving as a deterrent against illegal property holdings and contributing to a more transparent real estate sector.

As the FBR continues to strengthen its mechanisms to combat financial crimes and tax evasion, the establishment of these benches reflects a proactive stance in addressing specific challenges related to Benami transactions. The decision is poised to improve the legal infrastructure, promote compliance, and contribute to the establishment of a more transparent and accountable business environment in Pakistan.