Enemy Property Bill Passed by Parliament

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The Lok Sabha passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which provides power to the government to seize properties left behind by those who migrated to Pakistan or China after wars.

The lower house passed the bill through a voice vote after amendments passed by the Rajya Sabha earlier were incorporated. The upper house had already passed the bill.

The bill seeks to amend a 49-year-old law, the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
Five ordinances on the bill have been promulgated in past years. The last of these ordinances would have expired now.

The bill says that ‘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. It is an office which is instituted under the government at the centre.

The Bill amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to vest all rights, titles and interests over enemy property in the Custodian

The Bill declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy, conducted under the Act, to be void. This applies retrospectively to transfers that have occurred before or after 1968.

The Bill prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.

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