Land Acquisition Act: Fair Compensation, and Transparency in Rehabilitation and Resettlement

Topics: Public company, Privately held company, Economics Pages: 8 (2229 words) Published: April 19, 2014
The Right of Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013




Ms. Rejitha Nair
Ass. Professor

Dikshal Khatri
B.Com. LL.B. (Hons.)

The Right of Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 is an act passed by Indian Government in 2013. It was passed for the purpose of fair compensation in case of land acquisition, as well as transparency in rehabilitation and resettlement. This act has replaced the previous land acquisition act of 1894. This act was passed due to certain lacunas and loopholes in old land acquisition act of 1894. Its footing goes back in 2007 when UPA government introduced Amendment bill, 2007 in parliament. After that land acquisition act, 2009 and the rehabilitation and resettlement bill, 2009 was introduced in parliament. Both bill lapsed in parliament. National Advisory Council after digging into depth of circumstances and issues related to land acquisition decided to recommend a single comprehensive legislation, i.e. “National Development, Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act.”, rather than the two separate ones, viz. Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2009 (LAA 2009) and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill, 2009 (R&R 2009).1 Thus in furtherance of it the LARR bill, 2011was introduced in the parliament, which was passed in 2013 and became an act. Why new Land acquisition act:

When we look to the need of new land acquisition act, we can find many important reasons and issues. Some of the main chosen issues and reasons are as followed: Due to development of industries and globalisation, Special Economic Zone etc. the need for urbanisation and land has increased. On the other hand the land owners whose land has to be acquisitioned by state must be provided with fair compensation and, resettlement and rehabilitation arrangements. Thus requirement of land is essential for the economic growth and industrialisation, and on the other hand the affected people must also not suffer due to such acquisition.2 The word “public purpose” has caused major problem. Supreme Court in cases like Yamuna Express way, Smt. Somavati & ors. case etc. has given wide meaning to the word public purpose. In such cases, court has held that acquiring land and giving it to private company for some projects which does not use it for public purpose in true manner is valid. Thus such loose interpretation and lack of clear guidelines is also one of the main reasons for new land acquisition.3 The old act had nothing for resettlement and rehabilitation in case of eminent domain acquisition by state or acquisition for private company for the operation related to public purpose. The affected people faces great problem regarding it although compensation is provided to them. Previously the compensation deciding authority was collector. The compensation paid was to be calculated on the basis of local market value. But detail procedure for the calculation of the compensation and any other guidelines were not there. In certain cases the land owner were fooled. 4 Old act didn’t contain provision for consent from land owner whose land government plans to seize. Due to lack of such provisions incidents like Nandigram took place, where for the setup of SEZ (Special Economic Zone) government decided to seize the land of the farmers and sudden notice was given to them.5 One major problem in old act was section 17, which talks about urgency clause. This urgency clause has highly been misused by the private companies and the state. There is no better example than Nandigram incident. Objective of the new land acquisition act:

The objective of the “The Right of Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement...

References: Books:
V.D.Mahajan, Jurisprudence & Legal Theory,(5th ed.,2012)
Acts and Bills:
The Right of Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Land Acquisition Act,1894
The Draft National Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation & Resettlement Bill, 2011 available at
Mihir Desai (2011) 46, “Land Acquisition Law and Proposed Changes”, Eco
Press Release by National Advisory Council (2009), available at
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