(Sept. 10, 2008) The Interim Government of Bangladesh has drafted an ordinance regarding management of confiscated immovable property. The ordinance is necessary because special courts set up by the Interim Government to try corruption cases have ordered confiscation of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of assets of the accused individuals. The relevant government departments are now facing difficulties in handling the confiscated wealth. Because there are no specific guidelines on the management of confiscated property, these offices have expressed concern about the liability that may arise from improper management of a confiscated property in the event a judicial confiscation decision is overturned on appeal and the property has to be returned to the owner.
Under the draft ordinance, management of immovable property will be vested in four ministries. The Home Ministry will manage confiscated houses; the Industries Ministry will manage confiscated industrial property; the Land Ministry will manage confiscated land; and the Commerce Ministry will manage confiscated business centers. Income earned through the management of confiscated properties while appeals of confiscations are pending will be deposited in government accounts. In the event the appeals are successful, both the property and the income will be returned to the owner. (Julfikar Ali Manik, Property Confiscation Poses New Problem, DAILY STAR, Aug. 22, 2008, available at http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=51376.)