The Custodian of Enemy Property for India has listed up to sixty-eight immovable properties in Kerala as ‘enemy properties,’ and thus, the High Court’s order can alleviate other similar cases as well. undefined

Thiruvananthapuram: In a recent relief to the 74-year-old man from Malappuram in Kerala, the Kerala High Court has set aside the restrictions placed on the property owned by him by the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, claiming that the man had purchased the land from his father who used to work in the neighbouring country, Pakistan.

A single bench of Justice Viju Abraham stated in the order produced on Monday that if a person went to an enemy nation in order to find a job, then it could not be assumed that he was a person from enemy nation.

There are as many as 68 immovable properties in Kerala which have been classified by the Custodian of Enemy Property for India as ‘enemy properties,’ and thus the HC order may mean relief in other similar cases as well.

P Ummer Koya, a retired police official and a native of Chettippadi in Malappuram challenging the archaic practice when the Parappanangadi village officer in Malappuram rejected his request to pay the land tax of 20. 5 cents of land for which he had recorded from his father Kunji Koya who once worked in Pakistan for few years.

The respective revenue authorities stated that the property in question was taken over under the provisions of the Enemy Property Act, 1968 and was under investigation by the Custodian of Enemy Property for India as the petitioner’s father was suspected to be an ‘enemy’ (Pakistan national) as per the definition contained in the said Act and, therefore, the property in question was also considered to be an ‘enemy property’. Hence, on the land, the restriction was imposed by the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.

The petitioner Ummer, with advocate M A Asif, argued that his father was born in Malappuram in 1902 and was domiciled in India when the Constitution was enacted in 1950. He visited Pakistan in 1953 in order to search for a job he had been a helper in a hotel in Pakistan for a short period of time.

He also said his father felt threatened by the police when he was still a national of Pakistan and approached the centre to know his citizenship status and the centre advised him that Kunji did not take the Pakistani citizenship willingly, therefore he still remains an Indian citizen. For this reason, the said property could not be rightly regarded as ‘enemy property’ as contended by Ummer’s counsel. Kunji also passed away in India and was buried in Malappuram district.

The court directed that since the father of the petitioner can not be termed as an ‘Enemy’ and his properties can not be termed as ‘Enemy Property’, the restriction imposed on the land should be quashed.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal falls into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”