Uproar in Lok Sabha over Enemy Property Bill

Samajwadi Party and RJD Monday created uproar in the Lok Sabha opposing a bill to amend a law governing properties left behind by those who went to Pakistan during partition.

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2010, 14:02 PM IST

New Delhi: Samajwadi Party and RJD Monday
created uproar in the Lok Sabha opposing a bill to amend a law governing properties left behind by those who went to Pakistan during partition.

Dubbing the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation)
Bill, 2010 as anti-Muslim, members of the two parties stormed
the Well and forced adjournment of the House for an hour.

Government`s assurances that it was bringing amendments to
address their concerns created more problems, with BJP and
Shiv Sena turning aggressive against any change in the
measure.

The Bill makes it clear that courts would have no
jurisdiction over occupation of properties which have been
left behind by those who went to Pakistan at the time of
Partition.

Enemy properties are those left behind by people who went
to Pakistan during partition. There are about 2,000 such
properties in the country.

Raising the matter during Zero Hour, SP chief Mulayam
Singh said the bill would "snatch the rights of the Muslims
who stayed back in India" and went against a Supreme Court
verdict which had granted them the right over properties which
were left behind by their forefathers.

"It is a bill that would make Muslims second-class
citizens and create an inferiority complex among them," he
said, adding that the apex court had made it clear that the
custodian of such properties, which was the government, should
return them to the inheritors.

The SP chief was supported by RJD leader Lalu Prasad.

Seeking to counter the charge, Parliamentary Affairs
Minister P K Bansal said the government was bringing
appropriate amendments to take care of the concerns raised by
Yadav. "They will answer all his doubts," he said appealing
for unanimous passage of the measure.

This prompted a sharp response from Leader of Opposition
Sushma Swaraj, who declared that her party would support the
measure only in the original form and strongly oppose any
amendments. "Send it to Standing Committee," was her refrain.

The SP leader alleged that Home Minister P Chidambaram had brought the bill after failing to secure a verdict favourable to him as a counsel before the Supreme Court.
He charged the BJP and the Congress with being
hand-in-glove in the matter as two BJP members of the Rajya
Sabha had also appeared as counsels in the case.
The bill, which seeks to replace the 1968 Act, was moved
in view of a number of court judgements that "adversely
affected the powers" of the custodians and the Government of
India as provided under the law. Once passed, it would replace
an ordinance promulgated on July 2.

PTI