Centre’s move to amend the 48 year old Enemy Property Act faced the deadlock of the opposition when Congress, JD-U, Samajwadi Party and CPI together provided a dissent note in Rajya Sabha. While objecting, opposition stated that the original law is balanced and the changes in the act shall only violate the justice of the law and Human Rights, also adding that the amendment will punish lakhs of Indian citizens while having no effect on ‘Enemy Governments’.
Earlier, the bill was cleared in Lok Sabha to guard against the claims of succession and transfer of properties left by migrated people on the wakes of Indo-Pak wars in 1965 and 1971. These properties were designated by Centre as “enemy properties” and vested these properties under a central body ‘Custodian of Enemy Property for India’. There were also movable properties that were categorized under these enemy properties. The Enemy Property Act of 1968 is intended to regulate these properties.
India and Pakistan had signed the Tashkent declaration after the 1965 war which included a clause which stated that the two countries would discuss about the return of properties and other assets taken during the conflicts. But Pakistan had disposed all the assets by 1971 itself. Earlier, the UPA regime had also initiated for an amendment in the Parliament but couldn’t get it passed due to several reasons.