The Foreign Exchange Management Act(FEMA) was an act passed in the winter session of Parliament in 1999 which replaced Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. This act seeks to make offenses related to foreign exchange civil offense.
Unlike other laws where everything is permitted unless specifically prohibited, under this act everything was prohibited unless specifically permitted. Hence the tenor and tone of the Act was very drastic. It required imprisonment even for minor offences. Under FERA a person was presumed guilty unless he proved himself innocent, whereas under other laws a person is presumed innocent unless he is proven guilty.