Lok Sabha passes Enemy Property Bill

NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which denies inheritance rights to heirs of individuals who left the country for Pakistan and China, completing the process after Rajya Sabha gave its assent to the long pending legislation last week.

The amendment was necessitated by the claim made by the Raja of Mahmudabad of Uttar Pradesh on properties belonging to his father which were declared enemy property and seized by the government of India following partition.

Lok Sabha had to pass a fresh bill to approve the amendments introduced by the upper House on the recommendations of the select committee which considered the legislation. While RSP member N K Premachandran moved an amendment, it was turned down.

Home minister Rajnath Singh said the purpose of the bill was to clarify the rules that inheritance law would not apply to enemy property a question which first arose in 2010. The government had passed an ordinance to enforce the law.

Singh denied the contention of some MPs that the bill was against “natural justice” and “human rights”, stating that Pakistan had seized the properties of Indian citizens and it was only natural that the property of those who migrated to Pakistan was not returned.

Among those who spoke on the bill were Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy, Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, CPM’s Mohd Salim and RJD’s J P Yadav among others.

Home minister Singh sought to raise the temperature around the claim of Raja of Mahmudabad by citing from the evidence of Uttar Pradesh on “talukdari” where the state had linked the royal family’s fiefdom to its collaboration with the English in suppressing the 1857 revolt.

Hesaid a system, “Sanad kabooliat”, was instituted where the individuals who had helped suppress the 1857 revolt were given properties on the condition that they would pledge support to the English.

Singh said Raja of Mahmudabad’s ancestors had secured “talukdari” by signing the bond with the English, hence neither the father nor the son could get rights to the properties.

Courtsey: TNN | 15-March-2017

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