HP Assembly clears bill on confiscating property amassed by corrupt means



Shimla (Aug 30): In line with the Jan Lokpal Bill, a legislation was passed by the Himachal Pradesh Assembly today unanimously to curb corruption by making provision for special courts to attach and confiscate property amassed by corrupt means.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal presented the HP Special Courts (Attachment and Confiscation of property) Bill 2011, which was passed in the house today. He asked the member that it would provide constitution of special courts for speedy trials in certain cases and “attachment and confiscation” of property accumulated by resorting to corrupt practices.

The Bill provides for setting up special courts, presided over by a judicial officer, not less than the rank of district and session judge for a minimum period of three years for speedy trial of corruption cases. He said that these special courts would endeavor to dispose off the cases of corruption against public servants who have amassed wealth.

The Bill also provides that “in case the government is convinced prima-facie that a public servant has amassed wealth and properties by committing an offence, it may move an application with the special court for the attachment of properties of the concerned public servant till the final disposal of the case.

In case, the offence is proved in the trial court , the authorized officer shall serve 15 days notice to concerned public servant, asking him to explain that why all or any such property should not be confiscated.

In case the person affected is acquitted by the special court or his appeal is accepted by the high court, the money or property would be returned an in case it is not possible for any reason, the person shall be paid the price of the property so attached or confiscated along with interest.

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