Bill clarifies that Inheritance law will not be applicable on Enemy Property.
Successors of those who migrated to Pakistan and China during partition will have no claim over properties left behind in India, with the Parliament passing a bill to amend a 49-year-old law i.e Enemy Property Act, 1968.
The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which amends Enemy Property Act, 1968, was passed by voice vote in Lok Sabha, incorporating the amendments made by Rajya Sabha last week.
Lok Sabha had passed bill earlier but certain amendments were introduced to it in the Rajya Sabha, on the recommendations of a Select Committee. Those amendments had to be approved by Lower House, which was done on Tuesday.
According to bill, “Enemy property” refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.
Government has vested these properties in Custodian of Enemy Property for India, an office instituted under Central Government.
After India-Pakistan War of 1965, Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists Custodian’s powers.
“The purpose of bill is to clarify Enemy Property Act,1968 Act. Inheritance law will not be applicable on Enemy Property.This will put an end to the long pending issue which should have ideally happened in the year 2010 when the bill was introduced,”Home Minister Rajnath Singh added.
Government brought the amendment in wake of a claim laid by heirs of Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan, known as Raja of Mahmudabad, on his properties spread across Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The matter is before Supreme Court.
Justifying the move to amend Act, Mr. Singh further added that rejected the contention of some MPs that it was against Principle of natural justice and amounted to human rights violations.
Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opposed provision to implement legislation with the retrospective effect and wondered what would be its ramifications.
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