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Govt starts survey in 5 states to trace new ‘enemy properties’

With an aim to find new enemy properties, the government has launched a survey in five states, including Delhi, for identification of movable and immovable assets once held by people who migrated to Pakistan.

“The survey work has started in five states – UP, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Delhi – for identification of new enemy properties,” a Home Ministry official said.

In order to detect more enemy properties in the states by conducting the survey in an organised manner, the Ministry has appointed 65 personnel for the task that include 50 surveyors and 15 accountancy and management personnel.

After the Indo-Pak war of 1965 and 1971, many people migrated to that country, subsequent to which Indian government, in accordance with the Defence of India Rules framed under the Defence of India Act, took over the properties and companies of such persons who had taken Pakistani nationality.

These ‘enemy properties’ were vested by the Central government in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.

Among the enemy properties under the jurisdiction of custodian of Enemy Property of India in Mumbai are Rs 310-crore worth fixed deposits, treasury bill and government stock, Rs 177.6-crore worth bank balance and Rs 37.54-lakh gold and silver jewellery, as on December 31, 2015.

Officials said there are several thousand crore of rupees worth ‘enemy properties’ spread across the country. The survey was ordered before the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which sought to amend the Enemy Property Act, 1968, was referred to a Rajya Sabha House Committee for detailed scrutiny last fortnight.
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