The Bill, once passed by Parliament, will replace the ordinance promulgated by the government after it failed to amend the Enemy Property Act, which guards against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars.
“The Bill to amend the Enemy Property Act will be introduced in the Upper House on Friday,” a senior Home Ministry official said.
The second half of the Budget session begins tomorrow.
The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance, 2016 was promulgated on December 22, 2016. It was promulgated four times in the past.
“Enemy property” refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.
The government has vested these properties in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, an office instituted under the central government.
After the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists the Custodian’s powers.
As per the proposed amendments, 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 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 enemy firm.
Enemy properties are spread across many states in the country.
The Enemy Property ordinance was for the first time promulgated on January 7, 2016. It was passed by Lok Sabha on March 9 that year but was subsequently referred to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.
It was re-promulgated for the second time on April 2, 2016 and a third time incorporating the amendments suggested by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on May 31, 2016.
Since its validity was to expire on August 28, 2016, the President promulgated the fourth ordinance on the subject a day before that.
An ordinance is promulgated again when Parliament is not in session and a bill to replace it is not passed.
An ordinance lapses after 42 days from the day a session begins unless a bill to replace it is approved by Parliament.