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Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013:


Why in News?

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde has questioned the infallibility of a land acquisition judgment delivered by a Constitution Bench, led by his former colleague, Justice Arun Mishra, saying the verdict had left things “unsaid”.

Important observations made by CJI:

The order gifted the government “laxity” in several aspects, which even Parliament did not bother to provide under the Act of 2013.

  • The verdict did not specify for how long the government could possess a land acquired without paying compensation.

Background:

In March this year, the Supreme Court Constitution Bench had reaffirmed the February 2018 ruling on Section 24 on land acquisition compensation awards in the Indore Development Authority case.

What’s the issue?

The judgment of the Constitution Bench was interpreting Section 24 (2) of the 2013 Act, which dealt with payment of compensation for land acquired by the government.

  • It said acquisition would not lapse as long as the government earmarked the compensation money by paying it into the treasury. In short, the money need not actually reach the farmer or the landowner.
  • Acquisition would also not lapse just because the farmer refused the compensation and claimed higher.
  • Similarly, there was no lapse in acquisition if the compensation had been paid but possession not taken of the land.

When would it lapse then?

The judgment had declared that acquisition would only lapse if the government had neither taken possession nor paid the compensation due to the landowner for five or more years prior to January 1, 2014.

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Sources: the Hindu.