NEW DELHI: Amid a walkout by the entire Opposition, the Rajya Sabha on Friday passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, that seeks to amend the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
The Bill was passed by voice vote in the Upper House even as the Opposition demanded to defer the debate for thorough deliberation next week.
Among other things, the amendments to the Bill seek to ensure that the law of succession does not apply in case of enemy property and is expected to plug the loopholes of the earlier Act. The Bill also seeks to prohibit civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.
The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill in March, 2016, and the Rajya Sabha had referred it to the Select Committee.
The Government then moved some amendments to the Bill in view of certain recommendations by the Select Committee. Soon after the passage of the amended Bill, the Upper House returned it to the Lower House for final passage.
When the Bill was taken up in the Rajya Sabha for consideration, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told the House, “Many senior members, including the Leader of Opposition are not present in the House for a variety of reasons.
Therefore the bill should be taken up for discussion and passage on the next working day.” Other members, including Javed Ali Khan (Samajwadi Party) and Sukhendu Shekhar Roy (Trinamool Congress) echoed Ramesh’s sentiments for debating the Bill next week.
The governtent, however, took up the Bill for discussion after which it was passed by a voice vote. Leader of the House Arun Jaitley said the Ordinance containing the amendments in the Act would lapse on March 14, 2017, and the issue had security implications.
Meanwhile, the steep hike of `86 per non-subsidised cooking gas cylinder received sharp reactions in Lok Sabha on Friday as the Congress, Left and Trinamool Congress members walked out of the House. The government insisted that it was a small hike.