Indians whose families fled to Pakistan during partition to lose property

Shehab Khan
Lok Sabha or Indian Parliament building: Creative Commons

Descendants of those who migrated to Pakistan and China during partition will have no claim on any properties left behind in India, according to a new bill which has been passed by Parliament.

The Enemy Property Bill, 2016, amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, and refers to any property belonging to or being held or managed on behalf of an "enemy" or "enemy firm".

In this case the term “enemy” refers to nationals of Pakistan and China.

“Inheritance law will not be applicable on Enemy Property... This will put an end to the long pending issue which should have ideally happened in 2010 when the Bill was introduced,” Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, was quoted as saying in Hindustan Times.

The minister said there would be no human rights violations and at no point would rights of Indian citizens be taken away.

“The law only applies on heirs of enemy property... The tenants of those property will be governed by the Tenancy Act,” he said.

Mr Singh also rejected accusations that the move was unjust.

“I wonder how it is against the principle of natural justice. Pakistan has seized the properties of Indian citizens... It will be natural justice if their property (of those who migrated to Pakistan) is not returned.”

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