Pranab Mukherjee gives assent to Enemy Property Ordinance
President Pranab Mukherjee promulgated the Enemy Property Ordinance for the fifth time in a span of one year. The ordinance was promulgated for the first time in January 2016 under the Article 123 of the constitution.
President Pranab Mukherjee on 23 December 2016 gave his assent to the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance 2016.
The ordinance will guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars.
The ordinance seeks to amend the Enemy Property Act, 1968. Some of the important amendments proposed by the ordinance are –
• Once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy.
• The law of succession does not apply to an enemy property.
• There cannot be a transfer of any property vested in the Custodian by an enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm.
Enemy property: It refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.
• The ordinance was proclaimed for the first time on 7 January 2016 by the President Pranab Mukherjee.
• It was passed by the Lok Sabha on 9 March 2016 with a voice but. It was subsequently referred to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha for review.
• As the Rajya Sabha’s approval for the bill got delayed, the government decided to resort to the ordinance route to extend the life of the bill.
• Accordingly, the President re-promulgated the ordinance for four times i.e. in April 2016, May 2016, August 2016 and December 2016.
Article 123 of the Constitution
• It empowers the President to promulgate ordinances during the recess of Parliament.
• An ordinance promulgated under this provision shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament.
• However, the ordinance ceases to operate at the expiration of six weeks from the reassemble of the Parliament.
• The ordinance also ceases to operate even if both houses of the Parliament approves resolutions disapproving it.