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Enemy properties

  • IASbaba
  • November 5, 2022
  • 0
Governance
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Context: Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to initiate a State-wide drive to free enemy properties from encroachment and prepare a report of the updated status of all such properties.

  • After the 1965 India-Pakistan war, the Union government enacted the Enemy Property (Custody and Registration) Order and formed the Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI) department to look after properties left behind by the people who migrated to Pakistan or other countries with whom India has hostilities.
  • Uttar Pradesh has roughly 1,519 enemy properties out of which 936 belonged to Raja of Mahmudabad, whose descendants have moved to Pakistan.

About enemy property:

  • In the wake of the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, there was migration of people from India to Pakistan.
  • Under the Defence of India Rules framed under The Defence of India Act, 1962, the Government of India took over the properties and companies of those who took Pakistani nationality.
  • These “enemy properties” were vested by the central government in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.
  • The same was done for property left behind by those who went to China after the 1962 Sino-Indian war.
  • The Tashkent Declaration of January 10, 1966 included a clause that said India and Pakistan would discuss the return of the property and assets taken over by either side in connection with the conflict.
  • However, the Government of Pakistan disposed of all such properties in their country in the year 1971 itself.

Regulation of Enemy properties in India:

  • The Enemy Property Act, enacted in 1968, provided for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.
  • Some movable properties too, are categorised as enemy properties.
  • In 2017, Parliament passed The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which amended The Enemy Property Act, 1968, and The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.
  • The amended Act expanded the definition of the term “enemy subject”, and “enemy firm” to include:
    • the legal heir and successor of an enemy, whether a citizen of India or a citizen of a country which is not an enemy; and
    • the succeeding firm of an enemy firm, irrespective of the nationality of its members or partners.
  • The amended law provided that enemy property shall continue to vest in the Custodian even if the enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm ceases to be an enemy due to death, extinction, winding up of business or change of nationality, or that the legal heir or successor is a citizen of India or a citizen of a country which is not an enemy.
  • The Custodian, with prior approval of the central government, may dispose of enemy properties vested in him in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and the government may issue directions to the Custodian for this purpose.

Source: The Hindu

 

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