President Pranab Mukherjee has promulgated the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2016 to make amendments to the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
The Ordinance was promulgated by President as per provisions of Article 123 of Constitution of India that gives him legislative powers in consultation with Council of Union Ministers.
The proposed amendments in the parent Act seeks to deal with the loopholes in the existing law.
Proposed Amendments are
- Once an enemy property is vested to the Custodian it shall continue to be vested in him. It shall not revert back to enemy subject or enemy firm due to reasons such as death of subject or firm ceased to function.
- The law of succession does not apply to enemy property. Henceforth there cannot be transfer of any property vested in the custodian by an enemy till it is disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
- In the wake of the two India-Pakistan wars in 1965 and 1971, there was migration of people from India to Pakistan.
- The properties and companies of such migrated persons (acquired Pakistani nationality) were confiscated by Union Government under the Defence of India Rules framed under Defence of India Act.
- These enemy properties were vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India by the Union Government.
- In the Tashkent Declaration (signed in 1966), a clause was included to discuss the return of the assets and property taken over by either side in connection with the conflict. However, Pakistan Government had disposed of all such enemy properties in their country in 1971.
Enemy Property Act, 1968
The act provided for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the custodian. The possession of enemy properties spread across many states in the country vest with the Union Government through the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.