In the wake of the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, there was migration of people from India to Pakistan. Under the Defense of India Rules framed under the Defense of India Act, the Government of India took over the properties and companies of those who took Pakistani nationality.
These “Enemy Properties” were vested by the central government in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.
The Enemy Property Act was enacted in the year 1968 by the Government of India, which provided for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India. The Central Government, through the Custodian, is in possession of enemy properties spread across many states in the country.
The bill has been proposed to amend it.
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.
The Bill prohibits civil courts from entertaining any disputes with regard to enemy property. It does not provide any alternative judicial remedy in terms of tribunals.
The properties vested in the custodian of enemy property for India includes both moveable and immovable properties. The immovable properties are valued at more than Rs 1 lakh crore, while the movable property is valued at more than Rs 3,000 crore.