The Hush Post, Chandigarh
The Punjab Cabinet on Friday gave the nod for enactment of “Punjab Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Property Act, 2017” to enable attachment, seizure and forfeiture of properties of drug offenders. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Giving details of “Punjab Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Property Act, 2017′, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said it would empower officers to attach, seize or forfeit properties as part of the ongoing war against drugs initiated by the state government. It would enable them to crack down on properties acquired through illicit trafficking of narcotics drugs, smuggling and trade of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act), 1985.
An official spokesperson said under the draft legislation, prepared in consultation with the Director General of Police, Punjab, the accused will not be able to alienate their property following the registration of the case under NDPS Act. Confiscation or forfeiture of the property will take place only after final conviction. It has been further clarified that property older than six years at the time of the registration of the case will not be attached or confiscated under the provisions of the new Act.
The Act applies to every person who has been convicted of an offence punishable under the NDPS Act 1985 with imprisonment for a term of ten years or more, and to every person in respect of whom an order of detention has been made under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 (46 of 1988) provided that such order of detention has not been revoked on the report of the Advisory Board constituted under the said Act or such order of detention has not been set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction. It further applies to every person who has been arrested or against whom a warrant or authorization of arrest has been issued for the commission of an offence punishable under the NDPS Act 1985, with imprisonment for a term of ten years or more.