Land Acquisition Act

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The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 is a law in India and Pakistan that allows the government to acquire private land in those countries. “Land Acquisition” literally means acquiring of land for some public purpose by government/government agency, as authorised by the law, from the individual landowner(s) after paying a government fixed compensation in lieu of losses incurred by land owner(s) due to surrendering of his/their land to the concerned government agency.

Purpose of Land Acquisition Act

The land acquisition act of 1894 was created with the expressed purpose of facilitating the government’s acquisition of privately held land for public purposes. The word "public purpose", as defined in the act, refers to the acquisition of land for putting up educational institutions or schemes such as housing, health or slum clearance, apart from the projects for rural planning or formation of sites. The word "government" refers to the central government if the purpose for acquisition is for the union and for all other purposes it refers to the state government. It is not necessary that all the acquisition has to be initiated by the government alone. Local authorities, societies registered under the societies registration act, 1860 and co-operative societies established under the co-operative societies act can also acquire the land for developmental activities through the government.

Criticism of Land Acquisition Act

The Land Acquisition act has been criticized by groups that view the act as weak and ineffective, and by groups that view the act as draconian. People who feel that act is weak argue that the procedure followed is cumbersome and costly, often resulting in inordinate delay in land acquisition. This group argues that, the determination of public purpose should be matter of executive discretion and should not be contestable at law. It has also been argued that the property valuation techniques are flawed and that the land owners get to peg the value higher than the real value, based on ‘potential value’ and ‘opportunity value’ of their property; resulting in, what is claimed as, a heavy strain on public finances and restrictions on the scale of development and redevelopment projects. There is also opposition to the additional payment of solatium to landowners over the property value.

People who argue that the act is draconian claim that a number of projects with no public purpose attached, as in the case of SEZs, usurped land from property owners, with the help of the Land Acquisition Act, at what is claimed as, well below the market value of these properties. It is argued that, even in the case of projects that are genuinely for public purposes, there is a considerable difference between the market value of the property and the value that the land acquisition officer pays the land owners. It is also argued that the relocation and rehabilitation of land owners displaced by the actions of the act, is not followed up adequately, and that this is not covered comprehensively in the framework of the act. A notable instance of opposition to land acquisition, through the land acquisition act, is the Nandigram violence incident.

It is for this reason that government has proposed further amendments in the Act to strict define the purposes for which land could be acquired. If the Amendments get through, the provisions of the Act could be invoked only in limited conditions.There are some suggestion by various commission in different states, to provide rehabilitation for whom evicted from their own land.

New Land Acquisition bill proposed

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has promised a new land acquisition Bill in the monsoon session 2011 of Parliament. The Centre’s proposed national land use policy moots a 10-year blanket ban on purchase of multi-crop farmland and ban on polluting industries in its vicinity, and earmarking adjacent land for grazing, rural housing and agri-based activities. This could restore the vitality of Indian agriculture which has suffered serious neglect over the past decades, and is far superior to the National Advisory Council proposal that Government acquire all land required for projects and give owners six times the registered value. This is simply not on, as registered values can be really low in ancestral properties.

Importance of Land Acquisition Act for Jats

Jats in India are mainly dependent on Agriculture over the land which they possess for their livelihood. If the land grab under the garb of present Land Acquisition Act continues we will be forced after a few years to import grains from other countries. Jats will become landless and their status will be reduced to that of labours. Agricultural fertile land grab for any other other purpose must be stopped with immediate effect. People need to put pressure on Govt to repeal land acquisition act totally. This trend should be stopped immediately. We should not aquire farmers' productive lands for Industries or developing habitations.

We are producing here some relevant sections of Land Acquisition Act which are important for land owners. More details may be Read at -

Section-4. Publication of preliminary notification and power of officers thereupon.

(1) Whenever it appears to the [appropriate Government] the land in any locality [is needed or] is likely to be needed for any public purpose [or for a company], a notification to that effect shall be published in the Official Gazette [and in two daily newspapers circulating in that locality of which at least one shall be in the regional language], and the Collector shall cause public notice of the substance of such notification to be given at convenient places in the said locality [(the last of the dates of such publication and the giving of such public notice , being hereinafter referred to as the date of the publication of the notification)]. (2) Thereupon it shall be lawful for any officer, either generally or specially authorized by such Government in this behalf, and for his servants and workman, - to enter upon and survey and take levels of any land in such locality; to dig or bore into the sub-soil; to do all other acts necessary to ascertain whether the land is adapted for such purpose; to set out the boundaries of the land proposed to be taken and the intended line of the work (if any) proposed to be made thereon; to mark such levels, boundaries and line by placing marks and cutting trenches; and, where otherwise the survey cannot be completed and the levels taken and the boundaries and line marked, to cut down and clear away any part of any standing crop, fence or jungle; Provided that no person shall enter into any building or upon any enclosed court or garden attached to a dwelling house (unless with the consent of the occupier thereof) without previously giving such occupier at least seven days' notice in writing of his intention to do so. 5. Payment for damage. - The officer so authorized shall at the time of such entry pay or tender payment for all necessary damaged to be done as aforesaid, and, in case of dispute as to the sufficiency of the amount so paid or tendered, he shall at once refer the dispute to the decision of the Collector or other chief revenue officer of the district, and such decision shall be final.

Section -5A. Hearing of objections.

  • (1) Any person interested in any land which has been notified under section 4, sub-section (1), as being needed or likely to be needed for a public purpose or for a Company may, [within thirty days from the date of the publication of the notification], object to the acquisition of the land or of any land in the locality, as the case may be.
  • (2) Every objection under sub-section (1) shall be made to the Collector in writing, and the Collector shall give the objector an opportunity of being heard [in person or by any person authorized by him in this behalf] or by pleader and shall, after hearing all such objections and after making such further inquiry, if any, as he thinks necessary, [either make a report in respect of the land which has been notified under section 4, sub-section (1), or make different reports in respect of different parcels of such land, to the appropriate Government, containing his recommendations on the objections, together with the record of the proceedings held by him, for the decision of that Government]. The decision of the [appropriate Government] on the objections shall be final.
  • (3) For the purpose of this section, a person shall be deemed to be interested in land who would be entitled to claim an interest in compensation if the land were acquired under this Act.

Section - 6. Declaration that land is required for a public purpose.

  • (1) Subject to the provision of Part VII of this Act, [appropriate Government] is satisfied, after considering the report, if any, made under section 5A, sub-section (2)], that any particular land is needed for a public purpose, or for a Company, a declaration shall be made to that effect under the signature of a Secretary to such Government or of some officer duly authorized to certify its orders [and different declarations may be made from time to time in respect of different parcels of any land covered by the same notification under section 4, sub-section (I) irrespective of whether one report or different reports has or have been made (wherever required) under section 5A, sub-section (2)];
[Provided that no declaration in respect of any particular land covered by a notification under section 4, sub-section (1)-
  • (i) published after the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 1967 (1 of 1967), but before the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984 (68 of 1984), shall be made after the expiry of three years from the date of the publication of the notification; or
  • (ii) published after the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984 (68 of 1984), shall be made after the expiry of one year from the date of the publication of the notification:]
Provided further that] no such declaration shall be made unless the compensation to be awarded for such property is to be paid by a Company, or wholly or partly out of public revenues or some fund controlled or managed by a local authority.
  • [Explanation 1. - In computing any of the periods referred to in the first proviso, the period during which any action or proceeding to be taken in pursuance of the notification issued under section 4, sub-section (1), is stayed by an order of a Court shall be excluded.
  • Explanation 2. - Where the compensation to be awarded for such property is to be paid out of the funds of a corporation owned or controlled by the State, such compensation shall be deemed to be compensation paid out of public revenues.]
  • (2) [Every declaration] shall be published in the Official Gazette [and in two daily newspapers circulating in the locality in which the land is situated of which at least one shall be in the regional language, and the Collector shall cause public notice of the substance of such declaration to be given at convenient places in the said locality (the last of the dates of such publication and the giving of such public notice, being hereinafter referred to as the date of the publication of the declaration), and such declaration shall state] the district or other territorial division in which the land is situate, the purpose for which It is needed, its approximate area, and, where a plan shall have been made of the land, the place where such plan may be inspected.
  • (3) The said declaration shall be conclusive evidence that the land is needed for a public purpose or for a company, as the case may be; and, after making such declaration, the [appropriate Government] may acquire the land in manner hereinafter appearing.

Section -7. After declaration, Collector to take order for acquisition.

Whenever any land shall have been so declared to be needed for public purpose, or for a Company, the [appropriate Government], or some officer authorized by the [appropriate Government] in this behalf, shall direct the Collector to take order for the acquisition of the land.

Section - 8. Land to be marked out, measured and planned.

The Collector shall thereupon cause the land (unless it has been already marked out under section 4) to be market out. He shall also cause it to be measured, and (if no plan has been made thereof), a plan to be made of the same.

Section - 9. Notice to persons interested.

  • (1) The Collector shall then cause public notice to be given at convenient places on or near the land to be taken, stating that the Government intends to take possession of the land, and that claims to compensations for all interests in such land may be made to him.
  • (2) Such notice shall state the particulars of the land so needed, and shall require all persons interested in the land to appear personally or by agent before the Collector at a time and place therein mentioned (such time not being earlier than fifteen days after the date of publication of the notice), and to state the nature of their respective interests in the land and the amount and particulars of their claims to compensation for such interests, and their objections (if any) to the measurements made under section 8. The Collector may in any case require such statement to be made in writing and signed by the party or his agent.
  • (3) The Collector shall also serve notice to the same effect on the occupier (if any) of such land and on all such persons known or believed to be interested therein, or to entitled to act for persons so interested, as reside or have agents authorized to receive service on their behalf, within the revenue district in which the land is situate.
  • (4) In case any person so interested resides elsewhere, and has no such agent, the notice shall be sent to him by post in letter addressed to him at his last known residence, address or place or business and [registered under sections 28 and 29 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 (6 of 1898)].

Section - 10. Power to require and enforce the making of statements as to names and interests.

  • (1) The Collector may also require any such person to make or deliver to him, at a time and place mentioned (such time not being earlier than fifteen days after the date of the requisition), a statement containing, so far as may be practicable, the name of every other person possessing any interest in the land or any part thereof as co-proprietor, sub-proprietor, mortgagee, tenant or otherwise, and of the nature of such interest, and of the rents and profits (if any), received or receivable on account thereof for three years next preceding the date of the statement.
  • (2) Every person required to make or deliver a statement under this section 9 shall be deemed to be legally bound to do so within the meaning of sections 175 and 176 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

Section - 11. Enquiry and award by Collector.

  • [(1)] On the day so fixed, or on any other day to which the enquiry has been adjourned, the Collector shall proceed to enquire into the objection (if any) which any person interested has stated pursuant to a notice given under section 9 to the measurements made under section 8, and into the value of the land [at the date of the publication of the notification under section 4, sub-section (1)], and into the respective interests of the persons claiming the compensation and shall make an award under his hand of-
  • (i) the true area of the land;
  • (ii) the compensation which in his opinion should be allowed for the land; and
  • (iii) the apportionment of the said compensation among all the persons known or believed to be interested in the land, or whom, or of whose claims, he has information, whether or not they have respectively appeared before him :
[Provided that no award shall be made by the Collector under this sub-section without the previous approval of the appropriate Government or of such officer as the appropriate Government may authorize in this behalf:
Provided further that it shall be competent for the appropriate Government to direct that the Collector may make such award without such approval in such class of cases as the appropriate Government may specify in this behalf.
  • (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), if at any stage of the proceedings, the Collector is satisfied that all the persons interested in the land who appeared before him have agreed in writing on the matters to be included in the award of the Collector in the form prescribed by rules made by the appropriate Government, he may, without making further enquiry, make an award according to the terms of such agreement.
  • (3) The determination of compensation for any land under sub-section (2) shall not in any way affect the determination of compensation in respect of other lands in the same locality or elsewhere in accordance with the other provisions of this Act.
  • (4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), no agreement made under sub-section (2) shall be liable to registration under that Act.

Section - 11A. Period shall be which an award within made.

The Collector shall make an award under section 11 within a period of two years from the date of the publication of the declaration and if no award is made within that period, the entire proceeding for the acquisition of the land shall lapse:

Provided that in a case where the said declaration has been published before the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984 (68 of 1984), the award shall be made within a period of two years from such commencement.
  • Explanation - In computing the period of two years referred to in this section, the period during which any action or proceeding to be taken in pursuance of the said declaration is stayed by an order of a Court shall be excluded.]

Section - 12. Award of Collector when to be final.

  • (1) Such award shall be filed in the Collector's office and shall, except as hereinafter provided, be final and conclusive evidence, as between the Collector and the persons interested, whether they have respectively appeared before the Collector or not, of the true area and value of the land, and the appointment of the compensation among the persons interested.
  • (2) The Collector shall give immediate notice of his award to such of the persons interested as are not present personally or by their representatives when the award is made.

Section - 17. Special powers in case of urgency.

  • (1) In cases of urgency whenever the [appropriate Government], so directs, the Collector, though no such award has been made, may, on the expiration of fifteen days from the publication of the notice mentioned in section 9, sub-section 1). [take possession of any land needed for a public purpose]. Such land shall thereupon [vest absolutely in the [Government], free from all encumbrances.
  • (2) Whenever, owing to any sudden change in the channel of any navigable river or other unforeseen emergency, it becomes necessary for any Railway Administration to acquire the immediate possession of any land for the maintenance of their traffic or for the purpose of making thereon a river-side or ghat station, or of providing convenient connection with or accesses to any such station, [or the appropriate Government considers it necessary to acquire the immediate possession of any land for the purpose of maintaining any structure or system pertaining to irrigation, water supply, drainage, road communication or electricity,] the Collector may immediately after the publication of the notice mentioned in sub-section (1) and with the previous sanction of the [appropriate Government], enter upon and take possession of such land, which shall thereupon [vest absolutely in the [Government]] free from all encumbrances
Provided that the Collector shall not take possession of any building or part of a building under this sub-section without giving to the occupier thereof at least forty-eight hours notice of his intention so to do, or such longer notice as may be reasonably sufficient to enable such occupier to remove his movable property from such building without unnecessary inconvenience.
  • (3) In every case under either of the preceding sub-sections the Collector shall at that time of taking possession offer to the persons interested compensation for the standing crops and trees (if any) on such land and from any other damage sustained by them caused by such sudden dispossession and not excepted in section 24; and, in case such offer is not accepted, the value of such crops and trees and the amount of such other damage shall be allowed for in awarding compensation for the land under the provisions herein contained.
  • 3[(3A) Before taking possession of any land under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the Collector shall, without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (3)-
  • (a) tender payment of eighty per centum of the compensation for such land as estimated by him to the person interested entitled thereto, and
  • (b) pay it to them, unless prevented by some one or more of the contingencies mentioned in section 31, sub-section (2), and where the Collector is so prevented, the provisions of section 31, sub-section (2), (except the second proviso thereto), shall apply as they apply to the payment of compensation under that section.
  • (3B) The amount paid or deposited under section (3A), shall be taken into account for determining the amount of compensation required to be tendered under section 31, and where the amount so paid or deposited exceeds the compensation awarded by the Collector under section 11, the excess may, unless refunded within three months from the date of Collector's award, be recovered as an arrear of land revenue].
  • (4) In the case of any land to which, in the opinion of the [appropriate Government], the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) are applicable, the [appropriate Government] may direct that the provisions of section 5A shall not apply, and, if it does so direct, a declaration may be made under section 6 in respect of the land at any time [after the date of the publication of the notification] under section 4, sub-section (1).]

Section - 18. Reference to Court.

  • (1) Any person interested who has not accepted the award may, by written application to the Collector, require that the matter be referred by the Collector for the determination of the Court, whether his objection be to the measurement of the land, the amount of the compensation, the person to whom it is payable, or the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested.
  • (2) The application shall state the grounds on which objection to the award is taken: Provided that every such application shall be made-
(a) if the person making it was present or represented before the Collector at the time when he made his award, within six weeks from the date of the Collector's award; :(b) in other cases, within six weeks of the receipt of the notice from the Collector under section 12, sub-section (2), or within six months from the date of the Collector's award, whichever period shall first expire.

जमीन से जुड़े जरूरी सवाल

संदर्भ - *हर्ष मंदर: जमीन से जुड़े जरूरी सवाल, दैनिक भास्कर, 2-9-2011

स्वतंत्रता के इतने सालों के बाद भी लाखों देशवासी और उनके संघर्ष हमारी नजरों से ओझल हैं। भूमि अधिग्रहण और विस्थापन के कारण लाखों लोगों ने अनगिनत कष्ट सहे, लेकिन उनकी तकलीफों की कहानी कभी भी पूरी तरह सामने नहीं आई। ‘विकास’ की कीमत किसानों और खेतिहर श्रमिकों की अनेक पीढ़ियों को चुकानी पड़ी है। उन्हें बलपूर्वक अपनी धरती से बेदखल करने का अर्थ है अपने सबसे निर्धन अन्न उत्पादकों को सताना, ताकि देश विकास की राह पर आगे बढ़ सके।

कभी-कभी इन दबे-कुचले लोगों का गुस्सा फूट पड़ता है और हिंसक प्रतिरोध का रूप ले लेता है। हाल के समय में इनके आक्रोश के विस्फोट के कारण सरकारों का उत्थान और पतन भी हुआ है। औद्योगीकरण व शहरीकरण की बेलगाम रफ्तार के कारण यह समस्या और विकट हो जाती है। आज वास्तविक खतरा जिस संसाधन पर है, वह पूंजी नहीं, भूमि है। निजी उद्योगों की भूमि की मांग के दावानल ने निर्धन किसानों की पुश्तैनी जमीनों को निगल लिया है।

गैरलोकतांत्रिक समाजों में औद्योगीकरण-शहरीकरण के नाम पर लोगों को बलपूर्वक उनकी भूमि से बेदखल कर दिया जाता है और उनके प्रतिरोध को बर्बरतापूर्वक कुचल दिया जाता है, लेकिन भारत तो खुली लोकतांत्रिक व्यवस्था में तेज विकास दर प्राप्त करने का आकांक्षी है। अपनी आकांक्षा को मूर्त रूप देने के लिए उसे समावेशी और समतापूर्ण विकास की राह अख्तियार करनी चाहिए।

बीच बहस में है वर्ष 1894 में पास किया गया भूमि अधिग्रहण कानून, जिस पर सरकारें आज भी अमल करती हैं। यह औपनिवेशिक कानून इस सिद्धांत का पक्षधर है कि देश की समस्त भूमि और प्राकृतिक संसाधनों पर राज्यसत्ता का ही पूर्ण स्वामित्व हो। लेकिन इतने सालों में यह कानून प्रभावितों के अधिकारों की रक्षा करने में पूरी तरह नाकाम साबित हुआ है। इसकी प्रक्रिया अपारदर्शितापूर्ण है और यह न तो प्रभावितों को उपयुक्त मुआवजा देता है और न ही उनके पुनर्वास संबंधी अधिकारों का संरक्षण करता है।

इसके स्थान पर एक न्यायपूर्ण, मानवीय और पारदर्शी कानून की जरूरत लंबे समय से महसूस की जा रही है। सरकार ‘सार्वजनिक हित’ का हवाला देकर भूमि अधिग्रहण करती है, लेकिन सार्वजनिक हित वास्तव में क्या है, इसके निर्धारण का अधिकार केवल किसी नौकरशाह या अधिकारी के पास ही होता है। एक लोकतांत्रिक देश में इस तरह की औपनिवेशिक परंपराओं को समाप्त करना जरूरी है। सरकार को प्रभावितों के सामने स्पष्ट करना चाहिए कि वास्तव में सार्वजनिक हित से क्या आशय है और कृषियोग्य भूमि के अधिग्रहण की जरूरत क्यों है।

मौजूदा कानून के तहत भूमि अधिग्रहण पर दिए जाने वाले मुआवजे का निर्धारण पिछले तीन सालों के दौरान भूमि पंजीयन की सेल डीड्स के आधार पर किया जाता है। यह मुआवजा मौजूदा मूल्य दरों से बहुत कम होता है। देश के ज्यादातर हिस्सों में लोग स्टांप ड्यूटी बचाने के लिए जमीनों का रजिस्ट्रेशन कम भाव में कराते हैं। इसीलिए मुआवजे का निर्धारण भूमि के पंजीबद्ध विक्रय मूल्य से अधिक किया जाना चाहिए। रियल एस्टेट बिल्डर किसानों से जितनी कीमत पर भूमि खरीदते हैं, उससे दसियों गुना अधिक दाम पर उसे बेचते हैं।

इसलिए भी भूमि अधिग्रहण के लिए उचित मुआवजा प्रणाली पर विचार किया जाना जरूरी है। अधिग्रहण के दस वर्ष बाद भूमि पुन: बेचे जाने की स्थिति में हर बार उन्हें २क् फीसदी अधिमूल्यित राशि भी उपलब्ध कराई जानी चाहिए। चूंकि ग्रामीण आमतौर पर बड़ी नगद राशि का उचित नियोजन या निवेश करना नहीं जानते, इसलिए उन्हें मुआवजे की पूरी राशि मासिक भुगतान के रूप में दी जानी चाहिए, जिस पर उन्हें 12 फीसदी सालाना ब्याज दिया जाए। मुद्रास्फीति के अनुसार इस ब्याज को समायोजित किया जाना भी जरूरी है।

भूमि अधिग्रहण की सबसे ज्यादा मार उन लोगों पर पड़ती है, जो स्वयं भूमिस्वामी नहीं हैं, लेकिन जिनकी आजीविका भूमि पर निर्भर है। मौजूदा कानून में इन लोगों के लिए मुआवजे का कोई प्रावधान नहीं है। इसमें सुधार जरूरी है। भूमि आश्रित श्रमिकों व इस तरह के अन्य व्यक्तियों को दस दिन न्यूनतम मजदूरी के समान प्रतिमाह पारितोषिक दिया जाना चाहिए। एक विवादित मसला यह भी है कि क्या सरकार को यह अधिकार होना चाहिए कि वह निजी उद्योगों के लिए भूमि अधिगृहीत करे।

एक धारणा यह है कि जो निजी उद्यम सार्वजनिक हित के होते हैं, उन्हें इससे अलग रखा जाना चाहिए, क्योंकि सरकार को निजी मुनाफे का एजेंट नहीं बनना चाहिए। प्रभावित व्यक्तियों के पास यह विकल्प होना चाहिए कि वे अपनी भूमि बेचना चाहते हैं या नहीं। एक अन्य धारणा यह भी है कि उद्योग भी अपने आपमें सार्वजनिक हित का साधन हैं, क्योंकि इससे रोजगार के अवसर निर्मित होते हैं और इसीलिए सरकार को भूमि अधिग्रहण में सहायता करनी चाहिए।

लेकिन एक मध्यमार्ग भी हो सकता है। यदि सरकार ने अधिग्रहण की प्रक्रियाओं का नियमन नहीं किया तो निजी कंपनियां असंगठित और छोटे उत्पादकों का शोषण करेंगी और भूमिहीन श्रमिकों को भी किसी तरह की राहत नहीं मिलेगी। ऐसे में सरकार को यह करना चाहिए कि वह निजी उद्योगों को किसानों से सीधे जमीन खरीदने से रोके और उन्हें नए न्यायपूर्ण कानून के तहत मुआवजे की ऊंची दर और पुनर्वास की व्यवस्था प्रदान करने के लिए बाध्य किया जाए।

आज हमारे पास यह मौका है कि हम अपने लाखों किसानों और श्रमिकों को औद्योगिक व शहरी विकास की बलि चढ़ने से रोकें। संतोष की बात यह है कि धीरे-धीरे देश जाग रहा है और अन्यायपूर्ण स्थितियों के प्रति एक अपेक्षित नैतिक बोध से भर रहा है।

Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill,2012

Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill in India was a bill passed that was passed on August 29, 2013. As per the bill the much-awaited land acquisition and rehabilitation bill that aims to provide fair compensation to those whose land is taken away, brings transparency to the process of acquisition of land to set up factories or buildings and assures rehabilitation of those affected. This legislation has been eagerly sought by both industry and those who live off the land.Out of the 235 members who voted on the bill, 216 backed it while 19 voted against it. The bill aims to replace a nearly 120-year-old law enacted during British rule in 1894.

The Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday, aims to provide higher compensation of four times the market value for land sold in rural areas and twice the market value for land in urban areas, among other benefits to land owners.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012, will replace the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. It needs clearance from the Rajya Sabha and the President to become law. Besides ensuring fair compensation, the Bill says that land acquisition for public private partnership (PPP) projects will require the consent of 70% of the landowners while private projects will need the consent of 80% of the owners, conditions that will leave little room for forcible acquisition of land. The Bill also says that if the land is sold to a third party, 40% of the profits will have to be shared with the original owners.

According to the Bill, affected "families" would include farm labourers, tenants and workers who have been in the area for up to three years before the land acquisition. Such persons will have to given a job or compensation of .Rs 5 lakh, an allowance of.Rs 3,000 a month for a year, besides other allowances as part of the rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) package.

This means that a private company acquiring land will have to first seek the consent of 80% of the land owners before approaching the government to acquire it. Once cleared, it will have to offer an R&R package, too.

Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

Section 24. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this act, any case of Land Acquisition proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, -

(a) where no award under section 11 of the said Land Acquisition Act has been made, then , all provisions of this act relating to the determination of compensation shall apply; or

(b) where an award under said section 11 has been made, then such proceedings shall continue under the provisions of said Land Acquisition Act, as if the said act has not been repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) , in case of Land Acquisition proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, where an award under the said section 11 has been made five years or more prior to the commencement of this Act but the physical possession of the land has not been taken or the compensation has not been paid the said proceedings shall be deemed to have lapsed and the appropriate Government, if it so chooses, shall initiate the proceedings of such Land Acquisition afresh in accordance with the provisions of this Act.: Provided that where an award has been made and compensation in respect of a majority of land holdings has not been deposited in the account of the beneficiaries, then, all beneficiaries specified in the notification for acquisition under section 4 of the said Land Acquisition Act, shall be entitled to compensation in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

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Examples of Land Acquisition from history

I have got very good example how sensitive ancient kings used to be regarding Land acquisition. In the list of Kings of Kashmir, Durlabhaka's son was Chandrapida, otherwise called Vajraditya, when ascended the throne, performed many good deeds, and was a very virtuous king. When building a temple to Tribhuvanasvami, the house of a tanner fell within the boundary marked for the temple, but that man would not give up his house though compensation money was offered to him. At last when the matter was reported to the king, the men in charge of the building, and not the tanner, were hold guilty, and they were censured for want of forethought in having commenced the building without obtaining the consent of the tanner in the first instance. They were told either to reduce the plan of the temple or to build it elsewhere, for he, the king, would not commit the sin of forcibly taking another's land. " For it is our duty," said he, " to administer justice, and if we act unjustly who will act rightly. (Ref- Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book IV,p.64)

भूमि अधिग्रहण और किसानों के अधिकार

संदर्भ - मनोज कुमार: दैनिक भास्कर 8.9.2016

सिंगुर में दस साल पहले हुए किसानों की बेदखली के बाद हुई हिंसा को कोई नहीं भूल सकता। सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने किसानों की भूमि अधिग्रहण के मामले में अहम फैसला किसानों के हक में दिया है। साथ ही नए तरह से किसानों के अधिकारों की व्याख्या भी की है, जो इस दौर में बेहद उल्लेखनीय और अहम है। उच्चतम न्यायालय ने सिंगुर भूमि अधिग्रहण मामले पर ऐतिहासिक निर्णय देते हुए किसानों के अधिकारों पर से कई प्रश्न चिह्नों को हटा दिया है। उच्चतम न्यायालय ने 31 अगस्त 2016 को अपने निर्णय द्वारा टाटा मोटर्स को भूमि अधिग्रहण अधिनियम 1894 के अंतर्गत लगभग 1000 एकड़ जमीन का आवंटन ख़ारिज किया। उच्चतम न्यायालय ने राज्य सरकार को यह भी आदेश दिया कि उक्त भूमि को अपने कब्जे में लेकर 12 हफ्ते के भीतर किसानों को वापस सौंपे।

उच्चतम न्यायालय के मुख्य न्यायाधीश वी. गोपाल गौड़ा ने निर्णय देते हुए कहा कि किसी कंपनी के लिए भूमि अधिग्रहण ‘एक सार्वजनिक उद्‌देश्य नहीं है।’ इस पर न्यायाधीश अरुण मिश्र ने कहा है भूमि अधिग्रहण जो टाटा मोटर्स के लिए किया गया वह एक ‘सार्वजनिक उद्‌देश्य है’ क्योंकि बनने वाली फैक्ट्री में हजारों लोगों को रोजगार मिल सकता है। इसके बावजूद दोनों न्यायाधीशों ने अन्य प्रक्रिया में कमियां होने के वजह से अधिग्रहण को खारिज कर दिया। अधिग्रहण की प्रक्रिया के अंतर्गत भूमि स्वामी को नोटिस देना अनिवार्य है, अथवा उनकी आपत्ति पर ध्यान देना भी देना अनिवार्य है। उच्चतम न्यायालय ने किसानों के भूमि अधिग्रहण प्रक्रिया में किसानों के अधिकारों को सर्वोच्च रखते हुए यह निर्णय दिया है। इस बिंदु पर उच्चतम न्यायालय ने अपने निर्णय में साफ कहा है, ‘प्रक्रिया या तो कानून के अनुसार होनी चाहिए या तो बिल्कुल नहीं होनी चाहिए।’ उच्चतम न्यायालय के निर्णय में यह भी कहा गया है कि यदि भूमि अधिग्रहण सार्वजनिक उद‌्देश्य से था तो इस प्रोजेक्ट को गुजरात में अवस्थित करने के बाद कोई भी सार्वजनिक उद्‌देश्य नहीं बचता है। भूमि अधिग्रहण प्रक्रिया के दौरान कुछ किसानों ने क्षतिपूर्ति राशि ली थी तथा कुछ ने लेने से इंकार कर दिया था। इस बिंदु पर उच्चतम न्यायालय के निर्णय अनुसार जिन्होंने उस राशि को लिया था उन्हें वह राशि वापस करने की जरूरत नहीं है। यह निर्णय यह दिखाते हुए दिया गया है कि वह किसान 10 साल से अपनी भूमि से किसी भी प्रकार की आय से वंचित रहे हैं। उच्चतम न्यायालय ने यह निर्णय दिया है कि लगभग 83 प्रतिशत किसान जिनकी भूमि अधिग्रहित हुई और जिन्होंने क्षतिपूर्ति स्वीकार कर ली थी वह कोई पैसा वापस नहीं करेंगे। जिन्होंने नहीं लिया था उनकी क्षति की भरपाई की जाएगी। न्यायालय ने यह भी कहा कि किसानों को यह हक है कि क्षतिपूर्ति राशि के विषय पर उन्हें पूर्व सूचना दी जाए। ऐसा न करने पर कलेक्टर द्वारा निर्धारित की गई क्षतिपूर्ति राशि मान्य नहीं होगी। उच्चतम न्यायालय ने यह भी स्पष्ट किया है कि भूमि अधिग्रहण अधिनियम 1894 के अलावा प्राकृतिक न्याय के सिद्धान्तों के अंतर्गत भी किसानों को यह अधिकार है कि उन्हें पूर्व निर्देश देकर उनसे सलाह या उनकी आपत्ति मांगी जाए और उनकी अपत्तियों को ध्यान में रखकर निर्णय लिया जाए। टाटा मोटर्स ने नैनो कार प्लांट बनाने की घोषणा 2006 में की थी, लेकिन किसानों की आपत्ति के कारण 2008 में यह कारखाना गुजरात में अवस्थित करने का निर्णय लिया गया था। किसान आपत्ति कर रहे थे और यह मामला 2006 से ही कलकत्ता के उच्च न्यायालय के अधीन था। जनवरी 2008 में कलकत्ता उच्च न्यायालय ने अपने निर्णय द्वारा सिंगुर भूमि अधिग्रहण को सही घोषित कर दिया था। उच्च न्यायालय के इस निर्णय के खिलाफ किसानों ने उच्च न्यायालय में याचिका दायर की थी। इस दौरान सिंगुर पुनः स्थापना एवं विकसित विधेयक 2011 पश्चिम बंगाल सभा द्वारा पारित किया गया। इस विधेयक के खिलाफ टाटा मोटर्स ने कलकत्ता उच्च न्यायालय में याचिका दायर की थी। इस याचिका पर 28 सितम्बर 2011 को कलकत्ता के उच्च न्यायालय के एकल पीठ ने इस कानून को वैध घोषित किया। इस पर टाटा मोटर्स ने डिवीज़न पीठ के सामने फिर से सिंगल बेंच के निर्णय को चुनौती दी तथा डिवीज़न बेंच ने इस कानून को ख़ारिज कर दिया और अब पुनः स्थापना एवं विकसित विधेयक को 18 जनवरी 2008 को उच्चतम न्यायालय ने उच्च न्यायालय के भूमि अधिग्रहण को खारिज कर दिया।

फैक्ट: सिंगुर में अधिग्रहित जमीन से किसान परिवारों के 15 हजार लोगों की आजीविका चलती थी, जबकि फैक्ट्री खुलती तो 1 हजार लोगों को रोजगार मिलता, जिनमें ज्यादातर बाहरी होते।

मनोज कुमार संस्थापक हम्मूराबी एंड सोलोमन लॉ फर्म, सुप्रीम कोर्ट एड्वोकेट

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