Lok Sabha passed Enemy Property Amendment Bill 2016
The bill guards against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan after the 1965 and 1971 wars.
Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, on 9 March 2016 passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016. The bill seeks to make amendments to the 48-year-old Enemy Property Act, 1968.
The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Enemy Property Act to ensure that the enemy properties that have been vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India remain so and they do not revert back to the enemy subject or enemy firm.
Main highlights of the Bill
• The bill guards against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan after the 1965 and 1971 wars.
• The bill also includes the properties of those persons who migrated to China after the Indo-China War of 1962.
• Once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him as enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy due to reasons such as death and others.
• The law of succession does not apply to enemy property.
• There cannot be transfer of any property vested in the Custodian by an enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm and that the Custodian shall preserve the enemy property till it is disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Earlier on 7 January 2016, President Pranab Mukherjee promulgated the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2016 to make amendments to the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
In the wake of Indo-China War 1962 and Indo-Pak war of 1965 and 1971, many people from India migrated to China and Pakistan respectively and adopted their nationality. The properties and companies of such persons were taken over by the Union Government under the Defence of India Rules framed under the Defence of India Act, 1962.
The Central Government through the Custodian of Enemy Property for India is in possession of enemy properties spread across many states in the country. In addition, there are also movable properties categorized as enemy properties.
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