Land Acquisition And Its Socio-Legal Aspects
Written By : Fiza Firdaus Ansari
The basic purpose of this act is that, whenever the government requires land for public purpose. We are very well aware of, the power of the government of talking people’s property is used whenever it is requirable and that is only for the use of people (Public Purpose), for the benefit of the public like bridges, railway tracks, construction of road, etc. The Central and state government has the power to acquire the property of the people.
Before 2013, there was a law named as “Land Acquisition Act, 1894” but that act has been replaced with the coming of this new act launched in 2013. The reason for repealing the 1894 act was, that act was only talks about how the government will acquire the land of people and give compensation to them. The main reason was how to rehabilitate or resettled people. This was not mentioned in the previous act. In the 2013 act, the act takes the responsibility to rehabilitate people and to settle them after acquiring their property.
There were many things that were missing in the Act 1894, but fulfilled in the act, 2013. Land Acquisition Act, 2013 was the law that was related to acquisition (means for acquiring the land this law was made).
There were many loopholes in this act which led to the formation of a new act in 2013. The provisions of said, act found to be uneducated and uncertain in some issues.
Land acquisition is the process by which the government acquires private property for public purposes. Till 2013, land acquisition in India was governed by the Land Acquisition Act of 1894.
Key Problems With The Land Acquisition Act, 1894
- Low rates of compensation:- The rates paid for the land acquisition are the prevailing circle rates in the area notorious for being outdated and hence not even remotely indicated of the actual rates prevailing in the area.
- Litigation:- Even where acquisition has been carried out the same has been challenged in litigations on the grounds mentioned above. This results in the stalling of legitimate infrastructure projects.
Important Features of the new law
- Compensation for livelihood losers:- In addition to those losing land the bill provides compensation to those who are dependent on the land being acquired for their livelihood. To qualify for benefits under this Act the time periods have been reduced to three years of dependence (on the acquired land) from five.
- Fishing Rights:- In the case of irrigation or hydel project, affected families may be allowed fishing rights in the reservoirs.
- Share in appreciated land value:- Where the acquired land is sold to a third party for a higher price, 40% of the appreciated land value (or profit) will be shared with the original owners.
Important Provisions Of The New Law
- CONSENT:- Consent of up to 80% of people required for private projects. For PPP projects, the approval of 70% of the same is mandatory.
- Multi-cropped, irrigated land:- cannot be acquired unless it is for defense or emergency caused by natural calamity.
- Land should be returned to the original owner or the State Land Bank if not used in Five Years for the purpose for which it is acquired.
- The government will not acquire land for private companies for private purposes.
- The urgency clause should be exercised in the rarest of rare cases like national defense or for resettlement purposes.
- The Social Impact Assessment (SIA) has to be carried out in consultation with the representatives of the Panchayati Raj institution (PRIs)
- Reports prepared under the social impact Assessment are to be shared with these representatives.
- Exemption from income tax and stamp duty:- No income tax shall be levied and no stamp duty shall be charged on any amount that accrues to an individual as a result of the provisions of the new law.
- The Bill also proposes amenities like schools, health centers, and civic infrastructure in places where project-affected people are resettled.
As a result, in 2013, a new law related to land acquisition was created ( L.A.R.R. act, 2013) by adding the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2007 and by this new law, land acquisition and displacement is more and more in line with the ideals of social justice. And efforts were made to overcome the problems related to displacement.
Right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement act 2013, is also called Land Acquisition Act, 2013.
- It was brought to replace the Land Acquisition act of 1894, enacted during the British Era.
- This new act seeks to establish a cohesive national law that dealt with compensation, rehabilitation, and resettlement issues arising.
Salient provisions of 2013 Act
- Definition of public purpose:- At defines public purpose as the project which involves Land Acquisition Photo strategy purposes on national security and defense of country other domains like infrastructure projects, projects for housing for lower-income groups or landless or the persons residing in areas if anything by natural calamities.
- Consent Clause:- When the government acquires the land directly for public purpose consent of the landowner is not required. However, when the government acquires the land for private companies, the consent of at least 80% of the project affected families shall be affined through a prior informed process. In case of acquisition of land for the public-private project than the consent of at least 70% of affected families should be taken.