Panaji: More than 245 benami transactions have been identified since the amended Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988, came into effect, Union Minister of State Santosh Kumar Gangwar told the Congress’s Shantaram Naik in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.The Minister said that though the Act has been on the statute book since more than 28 years, it could not be made operational because of certain inherent defects. He said there is no provision of filing of charge-sheets under the Act.He also said that with a view to provide an effective regime for prohibition of benami transactions, the Act was amended through the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2016.The amended law, which came into effect on November 1 last year, empowers authorities to provisionally attach benami properties that can eventually be confiscated. Show cause notices for provisional attachment of benami properties have been issued in 140 cases, involving properties worth nearly ₹200 crore. Out of these, provisional attachment has already been effected in 124 cases. The properties attached include deposits in bank accounts and immovable properties, Mr. Gangwar said in his written reply to Mr. Naik.“If a person is found guilty of benami transaction by the competent court, he shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than one year, which may extend to 7 years, and shall also be liable to a fine, which may extend to 25% of the fair market value of the property. There is also provision for rigorous imprisonment for a term, which shall not be less than six months and may extend to five years, and a fine for giving false information under the amended Act,” the Minister said.