From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Enemy Property
Mains level : Not Much
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered some cases on allegations that huge losses to the exchequer was caused by leasing out prime-value land under the Custodian of Enemy Property for India (CEPI) on forged documents.
Why in news?
- Hectares of commercial land located in Uttar Pradesh were leased out at nominal rates in favour of the lessees through manipulation.
What is “Enemy Property”?
- In the wake of the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, there was the migration of people from India to Pakistan.
- Under the Defence of India Rules framed under The Defence of India Act, 1962, the Government of India took over the properties and companies of those who took Pakistani nationality.
- These “enemy properties” were vested by the central government in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.
- The same was done for property left behind by those who went to China after the 1962 Sino-Indian war.
- The Tashkent Declaration of January 10, 1966 included a clause that said India and Pakistan would discuss the return of the property and assets taken over by either side in connection with the conflict.
- However, the Government of Pakistan disposed of all such properties in their country in the year 1971 itself.
Dealing with enemy property
- The Enemy Property Act, enacted in 1968, provided for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India (CEPI).
- The central government, through the Custodian, is in possession of enemy properties spread across many states in the country.
- Some movable properties too, are categorised as enemy properties.
- In 2017, Parliament passed The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which amended The Enemy Property Act, 1968, and The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.