December 17, 2016 11:53:53 am
The government is set to introduce an ordinance for the fifth time to make up for its failure to have the Enemy Property Act amended during Parliament’s just-concluded winter session. Lok Sabha had passed the amendment to the 1968 law after it was proposed earlier this year. It is pending before a parliamentary select committee after Rajya Sabha referred it to the panel.
Officials said that the proposal for the ordinance will be moved before December 27 when the previous ordinance lapses. The Union cabinet would take up the ordinance before it would be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for re-promulgation. Officials added that Mukherjee might raise queries or give his nod.
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There are 16,547 enemy properties worth Rs 1 lakh crore across India under the law that was passed to guard against claims of succession or transfer of assets the people, who migrated to Pakistan and China after 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars, had left behind. The government took over the properties of those who took Pakistani and Chinese nationalities under the law following the three wars.
The Union home ministry acts as the custodian of the enemy properties and has vested them in the custodian of enemy property. The government decided to amendment the law after Uttar Pradesh’s Raja MAM Khan approached the Supreme Court to reclaim his property. The amendment could not be passed in Rajya Sabha as many lawmakers objected calling it an anti-people legislation.
The government has responded by promulgating ordinances that lapse after six months. An ordinance has to re-promulgated if it does not get Parliament’s endorsement within six weeks of the start of a session. The Enemy Property Ordinance was promulgated for the fourth time on August 29.
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