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ENEMY PROPERTY ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 34 of 1968


  • Amending Acts
  • Act nº 34 of 1968

Preamble

THE ENEMY PROPERTY ACT, 1968

[Act, No. 34 of 1968]

[20th August, 1968]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the continued vesting of enemy property vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India under the Defence of India Rules, 1962,1[and the Defence of India Rules, 1971] and for matters connected therewith.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Nineteenth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

1. Inserted by the Enemy Property (Amendment) Act, 1977, w.e.f. 27-09-1977.


Section 1. Short title, extent, application and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Enemy Property Act, 1968.

(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir and it applies also to all citizens of India outside India and to branches and agencies outside India of companies or bodies corporate registered or incorporated in India.

(3) It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 10th day of July, 1968.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "Custodian" means the Custodian of Enemy Property for India appointed or deemed to have been appointed under section 3 and includes a Deputy Custodian and an Assistant Custodian of Enemy Property appointed or deemed to have been appointed under that section ;

(b) "enemy" or "enemy subject" or "enemy firm" means a person or country who or which was an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm, as the case may be, under the Defence of India Act, 1962 (51 of 1962), and the Defence of India Rules, 1962,1[or the Defence of India Act, 1971 (42 of 1971.), and the Defence of India Rules, 1971] but does not include a citizen of India ;

(c) "enemy property" means any property for the time being belonging to or held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm :

Provided that where an individual enemy subject dies in the territories to which this Act extends, any property which immediately before his death, belonged to or was held by him or was managed on his behalf, may, notwithstanding his death, continue to be regarded as enemy property for the purposes of this Act ;

(d) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act.

1. Inserted by the Enemy Property (Amendment) Act, 1977, w.e.f. 27-09-1977.


Section 3. Appointment of Custodian of Enemy Property for India and Deputy Custodian, etc.

The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint a Custodian of Enemy Property for India and one or more Deputy Custodians and Assistant Custodians of Enemy Property for such local areas as may be specified in the notification :

Provided that the Custodian of Enemy Property for India and any Deputy Custodian or Assistant Custodian of Enemy Property appointed under the Defence of India Rules, 1962,1[or the Defence of India Act, 1971] shall be deemed to have been appointed under this section.

1. Inserted by the Enemy Property (Amendment) Act, 1977, w.e.f. 27-09-1977.


Section 4. Appointment of Inspectors of Enemy Property

The Central Government may, either generally or for any particular area, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint one or more Inspectors of Enemy Property for securing compliance with the provisions of this Act and may, by general or special order, provide for the distribution and allocation of the work to be performed by them for securing such compliance:

Provided that every Inspector of Enemy Firms appointed under the Defence of India Rules, 1962,1[or the Defence of India Act, 1971] shall be deemed to be an Inspector of Enemy Property appointed under this section.

1. Inserted by the Enemy Property (Amendment) Act, 1977, w.e.f. 27-09-1977.


Section 5. Property vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India under the Defence of India Rules, 1962 to continue to vest in Custodian

1[(1)] Notwithstanding the expiration of the Defence of India Act, 1962 and the Defence of India Rules, 1962 (51 of 1962), all enemy property vested before such expiration in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India appointed under the said Rules and continuing to vest in him immediately before the commencement of this Act, as from such commencement, vest in the Custodian.

2[(2) Notwithstanding the expiration of the Defence of India Act, 1971 (42 of 1971) and the Defence of India Rules, 1971, all enemy property vested before such expiration in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India appointed under the said Rules and continuing to vest in him immediately before the commencement of the Enemy Property (Amendment) Act, 1977 shall, as from such commencement, vest in the custodian.]

1. Section 5 renumbered as sub-section (1) by the Enemy Property (Amendment) Act, 1977, w.e.f. 27-09-1977.

2. Inserted by the Enemy Property (Amendment) Act, 1977, w.e.f. 27-09-1977.


Section 6. Transfer of property vested in Custodian by enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm

Where any property vested in the Custodian under this Act has been transferred, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, by an enemy or an enemy subject or an enemy firm and where it appears to the Central Government that such transfer is injurious to the public interest or was made with a view to evading or defeating the vesting of the property in the Custodian, then, the Central Government may, after giving a reasonable opportunity to the transferee to be heard in the matter, by order, declare such transfer to be void and on the making of such order, the property shall continue to vest or be deemed to vest in the Custodian.

Section 7. Payment to Custodian of money otherwise payable to an enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm

(1) Any sum payable by way of dividend, interest, share profits or otherwise to or for the benefit of an enemy or an enemy subject or an enemy firm shall, unless otherwise ordered by the Central Government, be paid by the person by whom such sum would have been payable but for the prohibition under the Defence of India Rules, 1962,1[or the Defence of India Act, 1971] to the Custodian or such person as may be authorised by him in this behalf and shall be held by the Custodian or such person subject to the provisions of this Act.

(2) In cases in which money would, but for the prohibition under the Defence of India Rules, 1962, be payable in a foreign currency to or for the benefit of an enemy or an enemy subject or an enemy firm (other than cases in which money is payable under a contract in which provision is made for a specified rate of exchange), the payment shall be made to the Custodian in rupee currency at the middle official rate of exchange fixed by the Reserve Bank of India on the date on which the payment became due to that enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm.

(3) The Custodian shall, subject to the provisions of section 8, deal with any money paid to him under the Defence of India Rules, 1962, or under this Act and any property vested in him under this Act in such manner as the Central Government may direct.

1. Inserted by the Enemy Property (Amendment) Act, 1977, w.e.f. 27-09-1977.


Section 8. Powers to Custodian in respect of enemy property vested in him

(1) With respect to the property vested in the Custodian under this Act, the Custodian may take or authorise the taking of such measures as he considers necessary or expedient for preserving such property and where such property belongs to an individual enemy subject, may incur such expenditure out of the property as he considers necessary or expedient for the maintenance of that individual or of his family in India.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, the Custodian or such person as may be specifically authorised by him in his behalf, may for the said purpose,--

(i) carry on the business of the enemy ;

(ii) take action for recovering any money due to the enemy ;

(iii) make any contract and execute any document in the name and on behalf of the enemy ;

(iv) institute, defend or continue any suit or other legal proceeding, refer any dispute to arbitration and compromise any debts, claims or liabilities ;

(v) raise on the security of the property such loans as may be necessary ;

(vi) incur out of the property any expenditure including the payment of any taxes, duties, cesses and rates to Government or to any local authority and of any wages, salaries, pensions, provident fund contributions to, or in respect of, any employee of the enemy and the repayment of any debts due by the enemy to persons other than enemies ;

(vii) transfer by way of sale, mortgage or lease or otherwise dispose of any of the properties ;

(viii) invest any moneys held by him on behalf of enemies for the purchase of Treasury Bills or such other Government securities as may be approved by the Central Government for the purpose ;

(ix) make payments to the enemy and his dependents ;

(x) make payments on behalf of the enemy to persons other than those who are enemies, of dues outstanding on the 25th October, 1962 ;1[or on the 3rd December, 1971] and

(xi) make such other payments out of the funds of the enemy as may be directed by the Central Government.

Explanation.-- In this sub - section and in sections 10 and 17, "enemy" includes an enemy subject and an enemy firm.

1. Inserted by the Enemy Property (Amendment) Act, 1977, w.e.f. 27-09-1977.


Section 9. Exemption from attachment, etc.

All enemy property vested in the Custodian under this Act shall be exempt from attachment, seizure or sale in execution of decree of a civil court or orders of any other authority.

Section 10. Transfer of securities belonging to an enemy

(1) Where, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 8, the Custodian proposes to sell any security issued by a company and belonging to an enemy, the company may, with the consent of the Custodian, purchase the securities, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law or in any regulations of the company and any securities so purchased may be re - issued by the company as and when it thinks fit so to do.

(2) Where the Custodian executes and transfers any securities issued by a company, the company shall, on receipt of the transfer and an order in this behalf from the Custodian, register the securities in the name of the transferee, notwithstanding that the regulations of the company do not permit such registration in the absence of the certificate, script or other evidence of title relating to the securities transferred :

Provided that any such registration shall be without prejudice to any lien or charge in favour of the company and to any other lien or charge of which the Custodian gives express notice to the company.

Explanation.-- In this section, "securities" includes shares, stocks, bonds, debentures and debenture stock but does not include bills of exchange.

Section 11. Power of Custodian to summon persons and call for documents

(1) The Custodian may, by notice in writing, require any person whom be believes to be capable of giving information concerning any enemy property to attend before him at such time and place as may be specified in the notice and examine any such person concerning the same, reduce his statement to writing and require him to sign it.

(2) The Custodian may, by notice in writing, require any person whom he believes to have in his possession or control any account book, letter book, invoice, receipt or other document of whatever nature relating to any enemy property, to produce the same or cause the same to be produced before the Custodian at such time and place as may be specified in the notice and to submit the same to his examination and to allow copies of any entry therein or any part thereof to be taken by him.

Section 12. Protection for complying with orders of Custodian

Where any order with respect to any money or property is addressed to any person by the Custodian and accompanied by a certificate of the Custodian that the money or property is money or property vested in him under this Act, the certificate shall be evidence of the facts stated therein and if that person complies with the orders of the Custodian, he shall not be liable to any suit or other legal proceeding by reason only of such compliance.

Section 13. Validity of action taken in pursuance of orders of Custodian

Where under this Act,--

(a) any money is paid to the Custodian ; or

(b) any property is vested in the Custodian or an order is given to any person by the Custodian in relation to any property which appears to the Custodian to be enemy property vested in him under this Act,

neither the payment, vesting nor order of the Custodian nor any proceedings in consequence thereof shall be invalidated or affected by reason only that at a material time,--

(i) some person who was or might have been interested in the money or property, and who was an enemy or an enemy firm, had died or had ceased to be an enemy or an enemy firm ; or

(ii) some person who was so interested and who was believed by the Custodian to be an enemy or an enemy firm, was not an enemy or an enemy firm.

Section 14. Proceedings against companies whose assets vest in Custodian

Where the enemy property vested in the Custodian under this Act consists of assets of a company, no proceeding, civil or criminal, shall be instituted under the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956 ), against the company or any director, manager or other officer thereof except with the consent in writing of the Custodian.