Published On: Wed, Mar 15th, 2017

Enemy Property bill passed by Lok Sabha will affect UP properties

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The enemy property bill passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday will affect 1519 properties in Uttar Pradesh (UP) – with the Raja of Mahmudabad holding 936 properties across UP and Uttarakhand. After the bill turns into an Act, the custodian appointed by the central government will take control of all the properties identified as ‘enemy property’, seizing the heir’s right to ancestral property.
Once transformed into an Act, in the state alone it will affect 1,519 properties that have been marked as ‘enemy properties’. Of these 622 properties in Uttar Pradesh (UP) are already vested with the ‘custodian’ and 897 are in the process.
Those who migrated to Pakistan during the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 had been dubbed as ‘enemy subjects’ by the government and the properties they left behind were recognised as the ‘enemy property’. However, heirs of some of these people didn’t go or came back to India to reclaim their properties. With the passing of the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, these heirs – even if they are Indian citizens -were also decreed as ‘enemy’ and their right to the ancestral property-identified as ‘enemy property’ – declared null and void.
Retrospective amendment of the 49-year-old Enemy Property (EP) Act of 1968 will cause maximum impact to Raja of Mahmudababd who has 936 properties spread across UP and Uttarakhand. Some of these were given back to the Raja by order of the Supreme Court (SC) in 2005 after a long-drawn legal battle, only to be re-vested in the government custodian on promulgation of the EP Ordinance of 2010.
Sources at the Custodian said that while the bill would now be sent to the legislative wing for ordaining the procedure, the custodian can only act once it receives guidelines from its Mumbai-based headquarters.
“The government was in a rush to the get this bill passed, motivated primarily to appease a limited section of a community with specific Hindutva views that are not upheld by its majority. I have hope in judiciary now. This will affect thousands of unheard voices,” he said.

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