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CBI to probe ‘losses’ in leasing out enemy assets

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    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    18th Jun, 2022


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently registered four separate cases on allegations that huge losses to the exchequer were caused by leasing out prime-value land under the Custodian of Enemy Property for India on forged documents. 

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 Enemy Property Act, amended from time to time (latest in 2017), governs the vesting, preservation, management, control, sale, transfer of rights, disposal and other forms of usage of Enemy Property.
  • 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
    • The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.

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