ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Where Is the Matter of Public Interest?

Many interests wrangle in Parliament and within government over the property rights of an individual.

In recent weeks, an issue that involves a property dispute between a wealthy individual of royal lineage from Uttar Pradesh has rocked Parliament. It has been played out in the form of a larger story about the inheritance of various properties left behind by those who moved to Pakistan after Partition. Lawyers who have appeared in cases related to the issue have posed as disinterested political legislators arguing the issue while some political groups have tried to give the matter a communal colour. Lost somewhere in this entire debate is the matter of public interest.

The union cabinet has now decided, not with any unanimity, against promulgation of a new ordinance that would have replaced the one issued in July, which vested such properties, with the government. Because of considerable opposition, a bill to replace the July ordinance could not be introduced in Parliament during the recently concluded budget session. A new version, The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2010 will now be introduced in the winter session and will presumably be sent to a parliamentary committee for deliberation.

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