NEW DELHI: The government has allotted 31 of the total 9,457 “enemy properties”, categorised as such as they were owned by Pakistani or Chinese nationals during the 1965, 1962 and 1971 conflicts, for use by central police organisations, and asked the Custodian of Enemy Property for India to inspect the status of the remaining properties for further action, including eviction of encroachers.
A senior home ministry officer said the custodian has been asked to inspect each of the over 9,400 properties and report on whether they are under encroachment, by whom and if there is any legal case filed by the occupants. This will help the home ministry decide on further action.
“For instance, if there is encroachment but no legal challenge pending, eviction may be undertaken right away,” the officer said. The idea, home ministry sources said, is to serve a notice to the encroacher stating that he is illegally occupying government property and direct him to vacate it immediately.
The custodian is the keeper of all land and buildings categorised as enemy property, some of which are located in prime areas of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Hyderabad and Kolkata. This prime location is a source of attraction for encroachers. The government had amended the Enemy Property Act, 1968, through the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2016, which said that once the custodian’s office becomes responsible for a property, it shall continue to remain enemy property even if the original owner ceases to be the country’s foe.
Credits ET Realty