Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Aug 28, 2010
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Front Page |
Tamil Nadu |
Andhra Pradesh |
New Delhi |
Other States |
Advts: Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |
New Delhi: The UPA government introduced a fresh amendment in the controversial Enemy Property Bill, 2010 on Friday, under which India-born legal heirs to “enemy” property will have to overcome any legal challenge by tenants occupying that property.
This change was introduced to appease the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had strongly opposed the amendments the Union Cabinet had cleared earlier and which had restored the right of legal heirs to such property, a right that the ordinance promulgated in early July had taken away. The BJP had been maintaining that it wanted the Bill to be a replica of the ordinance.
However, the BJP appeared divided on the issue on Friday: while one section confirmed that the government had promised to bring an amendment through which the tenants' rights will be protected, the other, led by Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, said the party would only pass the Bill in its original form, without any amendments.
Government sources said the new amendment, while upholding the right of an India-born legal heir to such “enemy” property, in equal measure, upholds the rights of a third party/tenant to challenge that right. Given that many of the post-1965 tenants in such properties include government officers and wealthy businessmen, the courts are likely to see more cases after the passage of the Bill, sources added.
The fresh amendment reads: “Nothing contained in this Act shall affect any person before any court or authority or other authority against owner or his lawful heir to whom property may be returned under this Act and such claims shall be decided in accordance with the law by the court or other authority as the case may be.”
Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken, who had introduced the Bill in the Lok Sabha earlier in the session, moved the amendments, including the one just cited, on Friday. Government sources added that the Enemy Property Bill will now be the first piece of legislation that will be taken up on Monday.
On Friday, with the BJP objecting to the amendments that were passed by the Cabinet, there was a round of discussions between Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of State for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid and BJP Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
The earlier amendments to the Bill had said that such property could be given to a lawful heir, provided he was a citizen of India by birth, provided he furnished within 120 days of the commencement of the Act “evidence to the satisfaction of the Central government that he is a citizen of India by birth.”
Government sources added that the fresh amendment had not been passed by the Cabinet, but it can be approved post-facto, in case the Bill is taken up before the next Cabinet meeting.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |
Copyright © 2010, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of