Uncertainty again looms over the fate of the Enemy Property Bill, amending a 48-year-old law to guard against claims of succession over properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after the wars. Six Opposition members of Rajya Sabha have given a dissent note in the report of a parliamentary panel which examined the legislation.”The provisions of the present bill violate the very basic principle of natural justice, human rights and settled principles of law. Furthermore, it adversely affects and results in punishing lakhs of Indian citizens and will have no effect on any enemy government,” said the dissent note by MPs from Congress, SP, JD-U and CPI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Together the four parties account for around 94 members in the 245-member House, where the ruling NDA is in minority Other Opposition parties like the Trinamool Congress and CPM, which have been busy with state elections, may also oppose the bill.The dissent note, reflecting the political differences on the issue, was attached to the report of the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha on the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, tabled on Friday. The panel, headed by BJP leader Bhupendra Yadav, has suggested two amendments to the bill, which has been passed by the Lok Sabha.BJP sources exuded confidence about passage of the bill saying even some Opposition parties will support it. The maximum number of such properties were in UP, followed by Delhi and West Bengal. There are over 2,000 such properties across the country.Of the 22 states, where enemy property existed, 17 appeared before the panel and only one of them– Bihar– outrightly opposed the bill, according to sources. Some of the other non-BJP ruled states suggested certain amendments to the legislation.The dissent note said the 1968 Enemy Property Act was a balanced legislation as it “recognized that enmity is not permanent, Indian citizens should not be deprived of their rights including inheritance, succession, which is automatic, cannot be stopped by bringing in any legislation. It said the bill sought to insert provisions which violated certain articles of the Constitution.The Bihar government, which in its response expressed complete disagreement with the bill, said “it is a punishment meted out to those legal heirs and successors who chose to stay back in India even after their guardian decided to leave this country.”The government had repromulgated the Ordinance to amend the 1968 Act, for regulating enemy properties and listing the powers of the Custodian. The Centre had designated some properties belonging to nationals of Pakistan and China as enemy properties during the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars and vested them with the “Custodian of Enemy Property for India”. The amendments seek to ensure that such property remain vested with the Custodian.The case of the properties of Raja of Mahmudabad, whose son claimed them after he died, that had stirred the hornet’s nest on the issue of enemy property.Repromulgated the OrdinanceThe government had repromulgated the Ordinance to amend the 1968 Act, for regulating enemy properties and listing the powers of the Custodian. The Centre had designated some properties belonging to nationals of Pakistan and China as enemy properties during the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars and vested them with the “Custodian of Enemy Property for India”. The amendments seek to ensure that such property remain vested with the Custodian.

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Political battlelines drawn on Enemy Property bill in Parliamentary panel