BJP rubbishes Pak claim on Jinnah's 'South Court'
In a twist in the tale on Sunday, the committee's chairperson on 'Enemy Property' and BJP's national secretary Bhupendra Singh Yadav said that Mohammad Ali Jinnah's house at 'Malabar Hill' in Mumbai cannot be 'taken over' by Pakistan.
According to the senior politician 'South Court' is an Evacuee property. 'Evacuee means 'a person who on account of the setting up of the Dominions of India and Pakistan or on account of civil disturbances or the fear of such disturbances, leaves or has, on or after the 1st day of March, 1947, left, any place in a State for any place outside the territories now forming part of India, or who has, after the 18th day of October, 1949, transferred to Pakistan, without the previous approval of the Custodian, his assets or any part, of his assets situated in any part of the territories to which this Act extends."
'Evacuee property' means "any property of an evacuee, and includes any property which has been obtained by any person from an evacuee after the 14th day of August, 1947, by any mode of transfer which is not effective by reason of the provisions contained in Sec. 40."
Whereas, the "Enemy Property" Act, 1968 defined an "enemy" as a country (and its citizens) that committed external aggression against India (i.e., Pakistan and China). However the latest Ordinance expands this definition to include: (i) legal heirs of enemies even if they are citizens of India or of another country which is not an enemy, (ii) nationals of an enemy country who subsequently changed their nationality to that of another country, etc.
The central government had also designated some properties belonging to nationals of Pakistan and China as 'enemy properties' during the 1962, 1965 and 1971 conflicts. On March 25, BJP MLA Prabhat Mangal Lodha resurrected the Jinnah debate in Maharashtra Assembly. He called for demolition of Jinnah House saying it "was the place from where the conspiracy of Partition was hatched."