Millennium Post

Govt set to face opposition over bill seeking to amend Enemy Property Act

The government is set to face resistance in passage of the bill which seeks to amend the Enemy Property Act, with major opposition parties Congress, Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and CPI opposing its key provisions.

The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill seeking to make changes in the Enemy Property Act, 1968, is listed in Rajya Sabha for being taken up this week.

The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on March 9. Later, the matter was referred to a 23-member select committee of the Rajya Sabha. Representatives of SP, Congress, JD(U) and CPI had submitted dissent notes in the Committee's report.

The Committee, headed by BJP MP Bhupendra Yadav, had recommended that once the government implements the proposed amendments to dispose of the enemy property by selling it, the interest of the present occupant/tenant may be taken care of for the time being so that the tenants are not unsettled all of a sudden or the running business of the financial institutions/PSUs does not get disrupted.

"In our considered view, the provisions of the present Bill violates the very basic principle of natural justice, human rights and settled principles of law. Furthermore, it adversely affects and results in punishing lakhs of Indian citizens and will have no effect on any enemy government," the dissent note had said.

The representatives of the four parties K C Tyagi (JD-U), K Rahman Khan, P L Punia, Hussain Dalwai (all Congress), D Raja (CPI) and Javed Ali Khan (SP) said the 1968 law is a very balanced piece of legislation as it recognised that enmity is not permanent and Indian citizens should not be deprived of their rights including inheritance and succession.

Last month, the government had promulgated an ordinance for the third time to amend enemy property act as the Bill is still pending in Rajya Sabha after being approved by Lok Sabha.
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