The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has identified 263 enemy properties worth over Rs 100 crore in the state that belong to Goans who have acquired Pakistani nationality. These properties assume significance as the Union government intends to take them over by passing a law in Parliament.
Enemy properties are those whose survey numbers are registered in the names of Goans who migrated to Pakistan decades ago. After these Goans accepted Pakistani citizenship and India declared Pakistan an enemy state around 1965, their properties were declared enemy properties.
Most such properties are located in the talukas of Bardez and Salcete, while a few lie in Tiswadi, Bicholim and other parts of the state.
The home ministry has forwarded a list of enemy properties to both district collectors and has directed them to collect the lease rent from their occupants. Sources said several people have already approached courts, staking claim to these properties.
Advocate Cleofato Coutinho said there should be a mechanism in place for citizens who have changed their nationality to claim their property. "The problem with the current law is that it is very difficult to get such property back," he said.
On September 11, 1965, a central government notification stated that all immoveable properties in India belonging to, or held, or managed on behalf of Pakistani nationals were to be treated as enemy properties, and that control over them was to be vested in the custodian of enemy property.
Matters relating to enemy property are dealt with under the Enemy Property Act, 1968 and Enemy Property Rules, 2015.
These cases involving enemy properties are dealt with under the Enemy Property (amendment and validation) Ordinance promulgated by the President of India on January 7, 2016.