A 49 year law has been amended finally on Tuesday, denying the inheritance rights to the legal heirs of the individuals leaving country for China or Pakistan. Known as Enemy Property Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, this bill clarifies that the heirs will no longer have the entitlement for property inheritance in India, if their ancestors shifted the enemy countries – Pakistan and China. The Lok Sabha has passed the bill and a selected committee appointed by Upper house has recommended some amendments. This is so far the fifth ordinance on this issue. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha with voice vote at the time when the opposition benches were almost vacant on March 10.
After Indo-Pak war in 1965, previous Enemy Act was enacted in 1968 but it required a much awaited clarification which has been brought under the current bill clearly denying the right of inheritance. Few MPs however expressed their concerns regarding this implementation but it has been assured that there shall be no human right violation and the law solely applies to the heirs of enemy properties. “Enemy Property” covers any property held, belonging to or managed on the behalf of an enemy, an enemy firm or an enemy subject.
263 properties in Goa have been already identified even before the passing of the bill, which belong to Pakistani citizens. These are estimated at a value of around 100 crores and located in various areas as Tiswadi, Bicholim, Salcete and Bardez. The ministry of Home affairs estimated the enemy properties to be worth of more than Rs. 1 lakh crore.
This law came into consideration after a claim in the property in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh by the heirs of Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan. A petition regarding this is filed in the Supreme Court.