Vested Properties Return (Amendment) Bill 2011 Passed by Bangladeshi Parliament

On 28 November 2011, the Bangladeshi Parliament (Jatiya Sangsad) passed the Vested Properties Return (Amendment) Bill 2011 (The Bill), reported BSS News (the National News Agency of Bangladesh).  The new legislation provides for the return of property seized under the Enemy Property Act 1968 (the 1968 Act). 
Under the 1968 Act, which was later renamed the Vested Properties Act, the government was empowered to seize lands and properties from individuals whom it deemed to be an enemy of the state. It is widely claimed that the 1968 Act was used to discriminate against various minorities, including, in particular, Hindus who had migrated to India. 
The Bill is reported to provide for the publication of district-wide lists of returnable vested property through gazette notification. It also contains provisions relating to the dissemination of such lists. Owners are entitled to dispute the inclusion of their property on a list of returnable property. 
The Bill establishes a time limit within which interested parties may make a claim to property deemed to be returnable. The appropriate authorities are required to respond to such claims, and Deputy Commissioners are empowered to make the final decision. The Bill allows aggrieved individuals to appeal against decisions taken under the Bill. 
In 2001 the Vested Property Return Act, was enacted but never implemented. 
To read the BSS article click here.
To read a BBC article on the Bill click here.