Principles for determination of a Benami Transaction, per Supreme Court of India

In the matter of Bhim Singh & Anr vs Kan Singh(And Vice Versa) 1980 AIR 727, 1980 SCR (2) 628, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, observed:

The principle governing the determination of the question whether a transfer is a benami transaction or not may be summed up thus:

(1) The burden of showing that a transfer is a benami transaction lies on the person who asserts that it is such a transaction;

(2) if it is proved that the purchase money came from a person other than the person in whose favour the property is transferred, the purchase is prima facie assumed to be for the benefit of the person who supplied the purchase money, unless there is evidence to the contrary;

(3) the true character of the transaction is governed by the intention of the person who has contributed the purchase money and

(4) the question as to what his intention was has to be decided on the basis of the surrounding circumstances, the relationship of the parties, the motives governing their action in bringing about the transaction and their subsequent conduct etc.

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