Govt to hand over enemy property to meet paramilitary land needs | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Govt to hand over enemy property to meet paramilitary land needs

The government is likely to give away a handful of “enemy properties” to paramilitary forces to safeguard them from encroachers and to meet the growing need for land and buildings of the central police organisations.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2016 01:22 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Enemy Property
The government is likely to give away a handful of enemy properties to paramilitary forces to meet the growing need for land and buildings.(Gurpreet Singh/ HT File Photo)

The government is likely to give away a handful of “enemy properties” to paramilitary forces to safeguard them from encroachers and to meet the growing need for land and buildings of the central police organisations.

Enemy properties are those the government took over when their owners left India for Pakistan after Partition and the 1965 and 1971 wars. Besides, some belonged to Chinese nationals who left after the 1962 war.

The Custodian of Enemy Property for India, an office set up by the government, is the keeper of such land and buildings, some of which are located in prime areas in cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. Their prime locations make them vulnerable to encroachment.

“Paramilitaries, especially the CRPF and BSF, have identified some of the properties that may meet their requirements. The final decision rests with the government,” said a paramilitary force chief who didn’t wish to be named.

The modalities are being worked, a home ministry official confirmed.

The government informed Parliament this March that there 9,280 immoveable properties that belong to Pakistani nationals with an estimated value of more than Rs 1,04,339 crore. There are 149 properties of Chinese individuals and companies, which are yet to be evaluated.

The latest step comes after the government failed to pass in Parliament an amended law governing enemy property.

The amended act says once the custodian’s office becomes responsible for a property, it shall continue to remain enemy property even if the original owner ceases to the country’s foe. Besides, the law of succession will not apply to enemy property and cannot be transferred as well.

The bill could not pass the Rajya Sabha because of opposition protests. An ordinance was promulgated to keep the amendments.