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Enemy Property bill targets Muslims, will deprive them of properties worth billions

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New Delhi/ Lucknow: Experts are of the view that the ‘Enemy Property’ Bill will harm only Muslims and no other community in the country. During the Partition of India, many went to Pakistan. Their relatives and descendants who lived here in India were allowed to own the properties they had left behind. Now the new Bill that has been in the Parliament will snatch this right from these descendants of those who fled to Pakistan.

The government is claiming these properties as enemy properties and passing this law will enable it to seize the properties as its own. There will be no hearing against this law in the Indian Courts. The Indian citizens who own these properties will lose the entitlement

Raja of Mahmoodabad to suffer the most

The person most affected by this law will be Raja Mahmoodabad. Raja Mahmoodabad owns over 900 properties in UP and Uttarakhand. He has claimed that this law is very unjust. Unfortunately and throwing an ominous light at the coming days in the country, experts agree with him.

Raja of Mahmoodabad said that he owns 936 properties in UP and Uttarakhand. Their market value is in several billions. His case is being considered by the Supreme Court. He did not make any legal comments, but his disapproval of the new Bill is apparent.

He said that he had won some part of the case in 2008 in the Supreme Court but he was not given ownership of his properties. He has been fighting for ownership of his properties since 2010.

He added that this is a law that will negatively impact the community and it would adversely affect not just the Muslims but many non Muslims as well. Many would be rendered homeless if this law comes into force. Many Hindus have bought and sold ‘Enemy Properties’, as they are being called. He said that he can only sum this up as a new high of injustice by Indian law if this happens.

He pointed out that the people who stayed in their own country will be deprived of their rights by this unjust law.

Currently there are around 16,000 ‘Enemy Properties’ in India, which the government can seize as its own if the law comes to force.

What is the Enemy property bill?
According to the bill, “Enemy property” refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm. The government has vested these properties in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, an office instituted under the central government. After the India-Pakistan War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists the Custodian’s powers.

The Purpose of enemy property bill
“The purpose of bill is to clarify the 1968 Act. Inheritance law will not be applicable on Enemy Property… This will put an end to the long pending issue which should have ideally happened in 2010 when the bill was introduced,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said while replying to a brief debate on the bill. The government brought the amendment in the wake of a claim laid by the heirs of Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan, known as Raja of Mahmudabad, on his properties spread across Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The matter is before the Supreme Court. Five ordinances were promulgated on the bill. The last one is due to expire on Tuesday. “The law only applies on heirs of enemy property… The tenants of those property will be governed by the Tenancy Act,” he said.

An ordinance to amend the law was promulgated for the fifth time on December 22, 2016 and it was due to lapse on Tuesday. An ordinance lapses after 42 days from the day a session begins unless a bill to replace it is approved by Parliament. The ordinance was promulgated on January 7, 2016 for the first time. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on March 9, 2016, but was subsequently referred to the Rajya Sabha Select Committee. The Home Minister said the ‘enemy’ properties are worth thousands of crores of Rupees and that all such assets have been identified. “If any properties remain to be identified, those will also be identified…It is a continuous process,” he added.

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