Punjab Cabinet Approves Act to Seize Drug Offenders’ Property
Convicted drug offenders’ properties can now be seized, attached, and forfeited under the Act.
Properties of convicted drug offenders in Punjab can now be attached, seized, and forfeited, according to the new act cleared by the Punjab state Cabinet.
The Punjab state Cabinet gave its nod for the enactment of the Punjab Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Property Act, 2017, on 17 November 2017. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Giving details of the ‘Punjab Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Property Act, 2017’, a spokesperson for 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, he said.
He 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 the NDPS Act.
Confiscation or forfeiture of the property will take place only after final conviction, he clarified.
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, he said.
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.Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab
He added that it also applies to every person who has been arrested or against whom a warrant or authorisation of arrest has been issued for the commission of an offence punishable under the NDPS Act, with imprisonment for a term of ten years or more.
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