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Home Min allows States to use 9,400 enemy properties

Topics Covered:

  1. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Home Min allows States to use 9,400 enemy properties

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: Meaning of enemy properties and key features of the enemy properties act.
  • For Mains: Significance and key features of the act.

 

Context: The Centre has allowed State Governments to take some enemy properties for public use. The guidelines for disposal of the Enemy Property Order, 2018 have been amended to facilitate “usages of enemy property by the State Government exclusively for public use”.

 

What are enemy properties?

  • When wars broke out between India and China in 1962, and India and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971, the central government took over properties of citizens of China and Pakistan in India under the Defence of India Acts. These Acts defined an ‘enemy’ as a country that committed an act of aggression against India, and its citizens.
  • The properties of enemies in India were classified as enemy property. The properties included land, buildings, shares held in companies, gold and jewellery of the citizens of enemy countries. The responsibility of the administration of enemy properties was handed over to the Custodian of Enemy Property, an office under the central government.
  • Of the total properties left behind by those who took Pakistani citizenship, 4,991 are located in Uttar Pradesh, the highest in the country. West Bengal has 2,735 such estates and Delhi 487.
  • The highest number of properties left by Chinese nationals is in Meghalaya (57).West Bengal has 29 such properties and Assam seven.
  • The estimated value of all enemy properties is approximately Rs 1 lakh crore.

 

Enemy properties Act:

  1. After the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists the custodian’s powers.
  2. The government amended the Act in the wake of a claim laid by the heirs of Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan, known as Raja of Mahmudabad, on his properties spread across Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  3. The government has vested these properties in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, an office instituted under the Central government.
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