From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Enemy Properties
Mains level : Not Much
The home ministry has begun the process to sell enemy properties, immovable assets left behind by people who have taken citizenship in Pakistan and China after wars with these countries.
What one means by Enemy Property?
- Enemy property refers to the assets and properties of individuals or entities that have been declared as “enemies” by the Indian government.
- This can include individuals or entities who are citizens of a country that is at war with India, or who have engaged in hostilities or acted against the interests of India.
Why was such a concept initiated?
- 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) under the Home Ministry.
- 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.
Total such properties in India
- There are 12,611 enemy properties in India estimated to be worth over ₹1 lakh crore.
- The government has earned over ₹3,400 crore from disposal of enemy properties, mostly movable assets like shares and gold.
- None of the immovable enemy properties has been sold so far.
- Out of the 12,611 properties vested with the CEPI, 12,485 were related to Pakistani nationals and 126 to Chinese citizens.
- Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of enemy properties (6,255), followed by West Bengal, Delhi, Goa, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Tripura, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Haryana.
- Kerala, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Assam, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Daman and Diu, and Andhra Pradesh have enemy properties as well.
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