RS passes Bill to amend Enemy Property Act

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Mar 2017 11:14:02


Mar 10,


RAJYA Sabha on Friday passed a Bill to amend a 49-year-old law to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China, amid a walkout by the entire Opposition.

The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, was passed by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha despite the Opposition demanding deferring of the debate on the draft legislation for a threadbare deliberation next week.

The amendments proposed that 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.

The new Bill ensures that the law of succession does not apply to enemy property; that 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 Act.

The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Act to ensure that the enemy properties that have been vested in the Custodian remain so and do not revert to the enemy subject or firm. The Bill also prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.After the amended Bill was passed by a voice vote by the Rajya Sabha on Friday, it was returned to the Lok Sabha for final passage just before it was adjourned for the day.

Earlier when the Bill was taken up in the Upper House for consideration, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “many senior members including the Leader of Opposition are not present in the House for a variety of reasons. Therefore the Bill should be taken up for discussion and passage on the next working day.”