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.

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The Seema Haider Case: A Closer Look at the Immigration Laws of India


The case of Seema Haider has been on the news for a few months now. The background of the case revolves around Seema Haider, a Pakistani National, who illegally immigrated into India. She is a married woman with four children. Along with her children, in the month of May 2023, Seema crossed the Nepal border to meet Sachin Meena, who she had met through PUBG, an online game and fell in love with.

The police have been investigating with respect to how she had managed to cross the Indian borders and reside here for considerable amount of time without anyone knowing. Even though the route that she took from Pakistan – Dubai – Nepal and finally to India is not completely clear, the point of question is how she had obtained valid documents to legally get through the borders. Therefore, this article examines the immigration laws of India and cases similar to the one of Seema Haider’s.

What is Immigration and Who is an Immigrant?

Immigration is the process of relocation of individuals from one country to another with the intention of establishing a permanent residence. The principal challenge faced by immigrants is the process of acquiring citizenship in the host country and so that they can exercise their basic and fundamental rights in their new place of residence.

Part II of the Constitution of India deals with matters related to Citizenship. Article 5 to Article 11 deals with the various provisions.

“Art. 5 – Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution.

Art. 6 – Rights of citizenship of certain persons who have migrated to India from Pakistan.

Art. 7 – Rights of citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan.

Art. 8 – Rights of citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India.

Art. 9 – Persons voluntarily acquiring citizenship of a foreign State not to be citizens.

Art. 10 – Continuance of the rights of citizenship.

Art. 11 – Parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by law.”

Another way to obtain citizenship: Naturalization Process – One can get an Indian citizenship after living in India for more than 14 years and foreigner registration with the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Officer) or FRO (Foreigners Registration Officer).

A person can become a citizen of India by birth, by descent, or by registration.

Key Legislations regarding Immigration:

  1. The Citizenship Act, 1955: This fundamental piece of legislation governs citizenship in India. It is also called the Indian Nationality Law. It defines who is considered an Indian citizen by birth, descent, registration, or naturalization.
  2. The Foreigners Act, 1946: This act empowers the Indian government to regulate the entry, stay, and departure of foreigners in India. It provides authorities with the means to arrest and deport individuals without proper documentation.
  3. The Passport Act, 1967: This act regulates the issuance and use of passports and travel documents in India. It sets out the legal requirements for obtaining a passport and prescribes penalties for passport-related offenses.
  4. The Visa Manual: India has a comprehensive Visa Manual that outlines the various types of visas available, their eligibility criteria, and the procedures for application. This manual is regularly updated to reflect changes in immigration policies.

The Case of Sapla Akhtar

The case of Sapla Akhtar was just the opposite of what happened to Seema Haider. Sapla is a Bangladeshi National who illegally immigrated into India to meet her online boyfriend. She had come through Siliguri, West Bengal. They had met on Facebook and only after coming here did she know that he was not the person she thought he was. He was making arrangements and was planning to sell her in Nepal. Sapla was eventually arrested for illegal immigration and the police are in search of the boyfriend.

Case of Anju and Nasrullah

Anju, a married woman and mother, is an Indian National. She married a Pakistani man, Nasrullah, who she had met online. The difference in this case is that Anju, now Fatima, legally immigrated into Pakistan with the necessary documents.

How is the case of Seema Haider relevant?

The main concern with illegal immigrants like Seema is the National Security Threats. India has a lot of hostile neighbouring countries. Thus, there is a need for well stringent laws on immigration. Major chunk of the illegal immigrants may have criminal intent and can be smugglers or terrorist, due to the hostility between the countries. Criminal activities, including human trafficking, drug smuggling, and organized crime will be on the rise. India cannot afford to be flexible with its border security due to this reason.

A large number of Illegal immigrants can also cause an economic strain on India. Statistics show that there are thousands of immigrants from neighbouring countries that cross the border and try to stay in India. This also causes conflicts between the natives and the immigrants for resources among other things.

Pakistan has not issued any official statement on the Seema Haider case. She was arrested by the police on the 4th of July and investigations are underway to confirm if she is a security threat. These cases show that there is a need for a stricter implementation of the immigration laws of the country so that the national security is not threatened.


  1. INDIA CONST. art. 5 – 11
  2. https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/4210/1/Citizenship_Act_1955.pdf
  3. https://indiancitizenshiponline.nic.in/acquisition1.htm#:~:text=A%20person%20born%20in%20India%20on%20or%20after%203rd%20December,the%20time%20of%20his%20birth
  4. https://www.wionews.com/india-news/seema-haider-case-reversal-indian-woman-travels-to-pakistan-to-meet-lover-618720

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Written by- Sweta Shoumya