March 3—Top news at 1 pm

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Benami Act violators to face double whammy of legal action

The tax department today warned that those who undertake Benami transactions would invite Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) of up to 7 years and such violators would also stand to be charged under the normal I-T Act. In advertisements issued in leading national dailies today, the Income Tax department stated: "Do not enter into benami transactions" as the Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, is "now in action" from November 1, 2016. The department also spelled out some features of the Act: "Benamidar (in whose name benami property is standing), beneficiary (who actually paid consideration) and persons who abet and induce benami transactions are prosecutable and may get RI up to 7 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 25% of fair market value of benami property. It added that "persons who furnish false information to authorities under the Benami Act are prosecutable and may be imprisoned up to 5 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 10% of fair market value of benami property."

Fishermen injured in crude bomb attack

Two fishermen who were fishing in a mechanised boat suffered serious injuries after some unidentified persons, who came in a country boat, hurled country bombs at them near Appa Thivu in the Gulf of Mannar region off the Tamil Nadu coast this morning, police said. Preliminary investigations revealed that the fishermen in the mechanised boat used banned fishing nets which was opposed by those in the country boat. The mechanised boat was damaged in the incident, police said. The injured Mohammed Ibrahim and Nishar Khan were admitted to government hospital here.

Bill against outsourcing jobs reintroduced in US Congress

A bipartisan Bill was today reintroduced in the US Congress to make companies that move call centres overseas ineligible for grants or guaranteed loans from the government, a move aimed at curbing the transfer of jobs to nations like India. Introduced by Congressmen Gene Green from the Democratic Party and Republican David McKinley, the US Call Center and Consumer Protection Act would deter companies from shipping American jobs overseas and incentivise them to locate in the US by creating a public list of "bad actors" consisting of those that shipped all or most of their service work overseas. The legislation is similar to a bill introduced in 2013 that would have required disclosure of a call centre location to consumers, along with the option to transfer to a domestic call centre.

Ruckus in Chhattisgarh Assembly over liquor sale issue

The opposition Congress today created a ruckus in the Chhattisgarh Assembly, protesting against the government's decision to set up a corporation to sell liquor. The Speaker had to carry out the listed business amid slogan-shouting and adjourn the proceedings thrice. State Congress president Bhupesh Baghel raised the issue first by moving an adjournment motion notice, but Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ajay Chandrakar said such matters can't be taken up during the Question Hour. Baghel raised the issue again after the Question Hour. The BJP government's decision to get involved in retail liquor sale was being opposed by the people everywhere, he said. Women had taken to the streets opposing the move and were demanding complete prohibition, the Congress leader said.

Nagpur BJP issues legal notice to Congress leaders

The legal cell of Nagpur BJP unit today issued a legal notice to some Congress leaders for allegedly making "defamatory and mischievous" statements against the party candidates elected in the just-held local body elections in Maharashtra. According to the notice, these Congress leaders made "defamatory, irresponsible and mischievous" statements against the BJP candidates elected in the Zilla Parishad, Panchayat Samiti and municipal corporations polls. The notice claimed the respondents are tarnishing the image of BJP by levelling baseless allegations in the media that the saffron party tampered with EVMs and used corrupt means to get its candidates elected.

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