The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave approval for introduction of an ordinance for the fifth time to make up for its failure to have the Enemy Property Act amended during Parliament’s just-concluded winter session.
The ordinance will now be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for re-promulgation. Mukherjee might raise queries or give his assent.
The Lok Sabha had passed the amendment to the 1968 law after it was proposed earlier this year. It is pending before a Parliamentary select committee after Rajya Sabha referred it to the panel.
There are 16,547 enemy properties worth Rs 1 lakh crore across India under the law that was passed to guard against claims of succession or transfer of assets the people, who migrated to Pakistan and China after 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars, left behind. The government took over the properties of those who took Pakistani and Chinese nationalities under the law following the three wars.
The Union Home Ministry acts as the custodian of the enemy properties.
The government decided to amend the law after Uttar Pradesh’s Raja M A M Khan approached the Supreme Court to reclaim his property. The amendment could not be passed in Rajya Sabha as many lawmakers objected to it, calling it an anti-people legislation.