New Delhi : The union cabinet today approved an ordinance to amend the Enemy Property Law to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars in 1962 and 1965. According to the ordinance once a property is deemed as enemy property, no claims of ownership will be entertained, even if classification of the enemy changes in due course of time.
“Cabinet today gave post facto approval to re-promulgation of the ordinance,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, after a cabinet meeting today.
On Sunday night, the ordinance was sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for approval, but without a clearance from the cabinet. While re-promulgating the ordinance, President Mukherjee had pointed out that a cabinet approval was mandatory and exceptions must not be treated as a precedent.
The ordinance to amend the Enemy Property Act (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants Act of 1971) is pending approval in Rajya Sabha.
‘Enemy property’ refers to any property belong to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm. The office of the Custodian of Enemy Property for India was created after the India-Pakistan War of 1965. All enemy property in the country is vested in the office of the Custodian.
The ordinance was first promulgated on January 7th, and passed by the Lok Sabha on March 9th. It was subsequently referred to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha which suggested a few changes. A new version incorporating the amendments was promulgated on May 31.