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President expresses displeasure over promulgation of enemy property ordinance for 5th time

Sources Said Before Giving His Assent To The Ordinance, The President Expressed His Displeasure That It Was Being Promulgated For The Fifth Time And A Bill To Replace It Could Not Be Passed By Parliament.

PTI | Updated on: 24 Dec 2016, 10:34:16 AM
A file photo of President Pranab Mukherjee

New Delhi:

An ordinance to amend a nearly 50-year-old law to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars, has been repromulgated but not before President Pranab Mukherjee expressed his displeasure over signing it for the fifth time this year.

Sources said before giving his assent to the ordinance, the President expressed his displeasure that it was being promulgated for the fifth time and a bill to replace it could not be passed by Parliament.

The ordinance was repromulgated late Friday night. Issued for the first time on January 7, the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance, 2016 had earlier been promulgated four times.

The Union Cabinet had on Wednesday approved re-issuing the ordinance. The ordinance was re-issued as a bill to amend the law could not be passed in Parliament due to repeated adjournments over the demonetisation issue.

Mukherjee had in January last advised the government that ordinances should be brought only under extraordinary circumstances.

“To meet certain exigencies and under compelling circumstances, the framers of the Constitution deemed it necessary to confer limited legislative power upon the Executive by way of promulgation of ordinances when the Legislature is not in session and circumstances justified immediate legislation.

“The framers also deemed it necessary to impose certain restrictions on this extraordinary legislative power by constitutionally mandating replacement of such ordinances within a timeframe by the legislators,” the President had said.

Mukherjee had made these remarks with regard to ordinances while addressing students and faculty of central universities.

The move is being made to amend the nearly five-decade-old Enemy Property Act to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars.

“Enemy property” refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.

The ordinance was for the first time promulgated on January 7 this year. It was passed by Lok Sabha on March 9 but was subsequently referred to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.

It was re-promulgated for the second time on April 2 and a third time incorporating the amendments suggested by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on May 31.

Since its validity was to expire on August 28, the President promulgated the fourth ordinance on the subject a day before that.

An ordinance is promulgated again when Parliament is not in session and a bill to replace it is not passed.

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First Published : 24 Dec 2016, 09:45:00 AM