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Enemy Property Bill passed in Rajya Sabha (Relevant for GS Prelims and GS Mains Paper II) 

The Rajya Sabha passed the The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 in the sixth attempt after ordinances were passed to keep the Bill alive, following fierce objections by the Opposition parties.The 49-year-old law was amended to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China.

Explanation given by the Government on passing the Bill in a hurry 
Explaining the urgency to get the Bill passed, Mr. Jaitley said the ordinance effecting the amendments in the Act would lapse on March 14 and this was a security issue also.

About the bill
1.    The amendments proposed include that once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him as enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy due to reasons such as death.
2.    The new Bill ensures that the law of succession does not apply to enemy property.
The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Act to ensure that the enemy properties that have been vested in the Custodian remain so and do not revert to the enemy subject or firm.
3.    The Bill also prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.

Background:
The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on March 9 but was pending in Rajya Sabha.

Why amendment is needed?
The Amendment Bill aims to make changes to the Enemy Property Act to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars.

What is enemy property?
“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, under the Act in 1968, an office instituted under the Central government.

As per the proposed amendments, once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue as such, irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be one due to reasons such as death.

About Enemy Property Act:
The Enemy Property Act was enacted in the year 1968 by the Government of India, which provided for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the Custodian.The Central Government through the Custodian of Enemy Property for India is in possession of enemy properties spread across many states in the country. In addition, there are also movable properties categorized as enemy properties. 



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