20, Nov 2017 | CJP Team
Land Laws Under BJP Regimes
In 2014 itself, months after assuming power, the Modi regime tried to test the political waters by bringing in a Land Acquisition Ordinance to overturn a 2013 Law that had, itself re-visted colonial legislation that empowered the forest official and timber mafia to exploit forest dwellers and tribals. United Opposition protest put the Modisarkar project to dis-enfrancise farmers and land holders on hold. At the Centre. Lo and behold, three states run and ruled by the BJP, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan simply passed state land legislations that took away the empowering measures of social audit, prior consent and adequate compensation.
How did BJP ruled states subvert one of independent India’s legislative efforts–The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, (LARR) 2013. This 2013 law replaced the colonial legislation of 1894? Six BJP ruled states have rendered this legislation, a reform driven law enacted after years of pressure from movements and struggles, meaningless.
What Modi could not do in Parliament, the states ruled by the BJP did in their states.But following the failure of the BJP government’s efforts to amend it through its land ordinances issued after 2014, six states have used constitutional provisions to make new laws. Other states have developed rules under the Act to dilute the rights of landowners and land dependent people in the face of land acquisition.
What the Modi government failed to do in early 2015, bring in a fresh law that in the name of making ‘land acquisition’ easier actually snatched away the original owner –be it the peasant, small farmer or tenants –right to have a say in whether or not the land should be acquired—the Gujarat Government, known for its infamous ‘Gujarat Model’ under NarendraModi did in April 2016 through the “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2016” (RFCTLARR, 2016), just recently passed, in the Assembly.
On April 1, 2016, deliberately on a day when the Opposition had been suspended from the House, the Government of Gujarat (GOG), passed the “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2016”. A copy of the Bill, can be read here.
Jharkand erupted in conflict last year (July-November) as amendements in laws were pushed through to dilute the say of peoples and communities over what could or should be done with their lands.
It is BJP ruled States that Have Done Away with ‘Consent’ clause
The social audit provisions and consent by gram sabha were the two hallmarks of the amended 2013 LARR. States have diluted these by putting exceptions to state laws and rules when land acquisition needs to abide by these conditions. The seeking of consent of 70% (for PPP) and 80% (for private projects) of the landowners before acquiring their land was included in the law to address issues of land grab by the state: an individual’s home, farm or occupational right could be grabbed by merely issuing a notice. The provision of social audit is crucial to address the impacts of acquisition on the livelihoods of all those who don’t own land but are dependent on it. This is also crucial for comoensation and rehabilitation packages.
These provisions now stand diluted: In Jharkhand, for example, the quorum for seeking consent from the gram sabha has been reduced from half to one-third.
Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Telangana have enacted new laws using Article 254(2) of the constitution by seeking presidential assent. Barring Telangana, all are BJP-ruled states. Their laws replicate or reflect the key amendments proposed in the 2014 ordinance. Gujarat and Telangana exempt a long list of projects from social impact assessment (SIA) and mandatory consent of landowners. These include projects of national security, defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors and other infrastructural projects, including projects under public-private partnerships (PPPs). In Maharashtra, PPP projects have been fully exempted from the SIA and consent clauses.
This Legal Brief Traces the History of India’s Land Laws from under British (colonial) rule to 2013 when arguably the first pro-land holder clauses found place. Before this, for decades the government (often with corporations) enjoyed unfettered powers to seize/acquire land.
PART A: LAND ACQUISITION ACT, 1894
Benefits to arise out of Land, things attached to the Earth or permanently fastened to anything attached to the Earth.
|1.||GUJARAT||Bombay Act 27 of 1950 and Gujarat Act 20 of 1965||Arable Land includes Garden Land.|
|2.||MAHARASHTRA||Bombay Act 27 of 1950||Arable Land- Land fit for Cultivation (cultivated or not cultivated) + garden land.|
|3.||KARNATAKA||Mysore Act 17 of 1961||Arable Land includes Garden Land.|
Co. as defined in Section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956 other than a govt. Company as defined in Sec 617 of the Companies Act, 1956.
Society under Societies Registration Act, 1860 or any law in State other than mentioned in clause cc.
Cooperative society referred in any law related to it enforced in any state other than clause cc.
(clause cc) – Corporation owned or controlled by State. Any body corporate established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act.
1- Gov. Co. as in sec 617 of the Companies Act, 1956.
2- Society under Societies Registration Act, 1860 or any corresponding law enforced.
3- Cooperative Society enforced in any state but 51% share should be held by Gov. or by State Gov. or partly by both.
|1.||ANDHRA PRADESH||A.P. Act 20 of 1959||Company or Society includes the one in corresponding law in force in transferred territories|
|2.||MADHYA PRADESH||M.P. Societies Registration Act,1959
M. P. Co-operative Societies Act,1960
M.P. Act 43 of 1965
M. P. Non-Trading Corporations Act, 1962.
|Company under Indian Co. Act, 1882.
English Co. Acts, 1862 to 1890.
Act of Parliament of U.K. or Indian Law or Royal Charter or Letters Patent
|3.||KARNATAKA||Co. Act 1956.||Co. formed and registered under any previous Co. Law enforced in any part of India other than J & K.
Co. in J & K.
Co. incorporated in any law enforced in any foreign territory but principal place of business in India.
- Extension, planned development or improvement of existing village sites.
- Land for town or rural planning.
- Land for planned development from public funds for Gov. Policy or scheme and its subsequent disposal (whole/part).
- Land for corporation owned/controlled by State.
- Land for residential purposes to poor/ landless/ affected by natural calamities/ displaced because of Gov. Scheme.
- Land for any educational, housing, health or slum clearance scheme by govt or authorised by it, by local govt, or any society under Societies registration Act, 1860 or any other law enforced in state for that time.
- Land for any other Gov. Scheme or approved by it.
- Any premises or building for locating public office but not for companies.
|1.||BIHAR||Bihar Act 11 of 1961||· Sanitary improvements including reclamation ‘and’
· Laying out of townships or village sites.
|2.||GUJARAT||Guj. Act 20 of 1965||· ‘and’ should be removed.
· Addition of ‘and’ before new clause which says housing scheme by state Gov. For increasing accommodation includes scheme by local authority or company if previous sanction by state govt.
|3.||MADHYA PRADESH||C.P. and Berar Act 20 of 1949.
M.P. Act 23 of 1958
|· Land for agriculture, residential, business or industrial purpose.
· Land incidental to above for resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced persons.
|4.||MAHARASHTRA||Mah. Act 38 of 1964.||· Land for development purpose from public revenues.|
|5.||KARNATAKA||· Land for relieving congestion.
· Residence for any person holding an office of profit under Central or State govt or diplomatic consular or trade representative of Foreign govt.
Land for company
· If by construction on it, substantially useful for public.
· If needed for construction of houses by building co-operative society or corporation.
· Charitable Trust.
|6.||U.P.||U.P. Act 22 of 1954||· Sanitary improvements including reclamation.
· Land settlement for agriculture with weaker section of the people.
Special Powers in case of urgency-
- If appropriate Govt. so directs then collector though no award has been made after expiry of 15 days from notice issued can take absolutely the land possession for public purpose free from all encumbrances.
- Same can happen in case of sudden change in channel of any navigable river or unforeseen emergency that railway administration need land or necessary for maintaining any structure or system pertaining to irrigation, water supply, drainage, road, communication or electricity.
Forty eight hours or reasonable longer time before notice should be given so that occupier can remove necessary items without any inconvenience
- For standing crops and trees(if any) on such land and for any other damage compensation should be offered if not excepted in Section 24(matters to be neglected in compensation) and if not accepted then-
- Tender payment of 80% of compensation.
- Paid to them if not prevented in Section 31(2)
|1.||ANDHRA PRADESH||Madras Act 21 of 1948
A.P. Act 32 of 1956.
A.P. Act 20 of 1972.
|· Acquisition for Nagarjunasagar Project.
· Execution of any housing scheme.
· Acquisition for Vishakhapatnam Steel Project.
|2.||BIHAR||Bihar Panchayat Raj Act, 1947.||· Possession of any waste or arable land notwithstanding the existence of forest , orchard or trees will be taken for public purpose or for company.
· If person himself give consent to give land during unforeseen circumstances then it should be in presence of Mukhiya or Sarpanch
· Transfer of land to board. .
|3.||GUJARAT||Guj Act 23 of 1962||Waste or arable land is been omitted.|
|4.||HIIMACHAL PRADESH||H.P. Cooperation Societies Act, 1969.||· Apply to Waste or arable land notwithstanding existence of scattered trees or temporary structures like huts, pandals or sheds.
· For any library or educational institution or for any construction of building for common use of any inhabitants or any godown for any society.
|5.||M.P.||Waste or arable land should be omitted.|
|6.||MAHARASHTRA||· Failure of Monsoons
· Scarcity of water for drinking
· Failure of crops in State.
· Transfer of land to Trust.
|7.||KARNATAKA||Apply to Waste or arable land notwithstanding existence of scattered trees or temporary structures like huts, pandals or sheds|
|8.||ORISSA||Waste or arable should be omitted.|
|9.||PUNJAB, HARYANA AND CHANDIGARH||Cooperative Societies Act, 1912.||· Apply to Waste or arable land notwithstanding existence of scattered trees or temporary structures like huts, pandals or sheds.
· For any construction of building for common use of any inhabitants or any godown for any society.
|10.||T.N.||Cooperatives Societies Act, 1932.||· Apply to Waste or arable land notwithstanding existence of scattered trees or temporary structures like huts, pandals or sheds.
· For any library or educational institution or for any construction of building for common use of any inhabitants or any godown for any society.
· Dwelling House for Poor.
· Any road.
· Any irrigation purpose.
|11.||U.P.||U.P. Avas Evam Vikas Parishad Adhiniyam 1965.||· For Sanitary improvements
· Housing or improvement scheme.
· Transfer of land to Mahapalika.
|12.||W.B.||· Sub section 1 and 3 of 1894 Act will apply also to unhealthy.
· Transfer of land to Board.
PART B: RIGHT TO FAIR COMPENSATION AND TRANSPARENCY IN LAND ACQUISITION, REHABILITATION, RESETTLEMENT ACT, 2013
The primary purpose of the 1894 Act as the title suggested was ‘Land Acquisition ‘and its expedition, whereas the 2013 act is titled as ‘Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, which expands the ambit of the act to fair compensation, thorough resettlement and rehabilitation of those affected, adequate safeguards for their well-being and complete transparency in the process of land acquisition.
A. Need for the new act / Major drawbacks in the 1894 Act –
Unilateral acquisitions – Under the 1894 act, once the authority develops the intention of acquiring a particular part of land, it could carry the acquisition irrespective of the affect that would have on the person whose land was being acquired.
No safeguards: There was no scope for an efficient appeal mechanism according to the 1894 act. A hearing (under section 5A) was prescribed, but the views are not required to be taken on board by the officers conducting the hearing.
No measures to rehabilitate: There are absolutely no provisions in the 1894 law relating to the resettlement and rehabilitation of those displaced by the acquisition.
What constitutes as urgent: This is one of the most criticized sections of the act. The act does not clarify as to what constitutes as an urgent need to acquire, leaving a lot of discretion in the hands of the acquiring authority. This results to the majority of acquisitions falling under the urgent acquisitions category with literally no scope of challenge.
Low rates of compensation: The rates paid for the land acquired are the prevailing circle rates in the area which are notorious for being outdated and hence not even remotely indicative of the actual rates prevailing in the area.
Recent observations by the Supreme Court: Justice Ganpat Singhvi of the Supreme Court has observed, in the wake of repeated violations that have come to light over the last few months, that the law has “become a fraud”. He observed that the law seems to have been drafted with “scant regard for the welfare of the common man”.
B. Changes brought in by the 2013 Act –
Compensation: Acting on the immense variations in different circle rates, the act provides compensations that are up to 4 times the market value in rural areas and 2 times the market value in urban areas.
- R&R: This is the very first law that links land acquisition and the accompanying obligations for resettlement and rehabilitation. Over five chapters and two entire Schedules have been dedicated to outlining elaborate processes (and entitlements) for resettlement and rehabilitation. The Second Schedule in particular outlines the benefits (such as land for land, housing, employment and annuities) that shall accrue in addition to the one-time cash payments.
- Retrospective operation: To address historical injustice the act applies retrospectively to cases where no land acquisition award has been made. Also in cases where the land was acquired five years ago but no compensation has been paid or no possession has taken place then the land acquisition process will be started afresh in accordance with the provisions of this act.
- Multiple checks and balances: A ‘comprehensive, participative and meaningful’ process (involving the participation of local Panchayati Raj institutions) has been put in place prior to the start of any acquisition proceeding. Monitoring committees at the national and state levels to ensure that R&R obligations are met have also been established.
- Special safeguards for tribal communities and other disadvantaged groups: No law can be acquired in scheduled areas without the consent of the Gram Sabhas. The law also ensures that all rights guaranteed under such legislation as the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 and the Forest Rights Act 2006 are taken care of. It has special enhanced benefits (outlined in a dedicated chapter) for those belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- Safeguards against displacement: The law provides that no one shall be dispossessed until and unless all payments are made and alternative sites for the resettlement and rehabilitation have been prepared. The Third Schedule even lists the infrastructural amenities that have to be provided to those that have been displaced.
- 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.
- Consent: In cases where PPP projects are involved or acquisition is taking place for private companies, the Bill requires the consent of no less than 70% and 80% respectively (in both cases) of those whose land is sought to be acquired. This ensures that no forcible acquisition can take place.
- Caps on acquisition of multi-crop and agricultural land: To safeguard food security and to prevent arbitrary acquisition, the Bill directs states to impose limits on the area under agricultural cultivation that can be acquired.
- Return of unutilized land: In case land remains unutilized after acquisition, the new Bill empowers states to return the land either to the owner or to the State Land Bank.
- 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.
- 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.
C. How are interests and concerns of panchayati raj institutions protected?
- SIA in consultation with PRIs: The Social Impact Assessment (SIA) has to be carried out in consultation with the representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). In fact, the appropriate Government is required by the law to ensure adequate representation of these institutions during the discharge of the process.
- SIA reports to be shared: Reports prepared under the Social Impact Assessment are to be shared with these individuals in their local language along with a summary.
- Representation in expert group: The expert group has to have two members belonging to the Panchayati Raj Institutions. This is a powerful body that has the power to reject a project.
- Hearings in all Gram Sabhas: In case where an affected area involves more than one Gram Panchayat or Municipality, public hearings shall be conducted in every Gram Sabha where more than twenty five per cent of land belonging to that Gram Sabha is being acquired.
- Consultation in compliance with PESA: Consultation with the Gram Sabha in scheduled areas under the Fifth Schedule referred to in the Constitution shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996.
- Representation of panchayat chairpersons on R&R committee at project level: The Rehabilitation and Resettlement Committee at Project Level has to have the chairpersons of the Panchayats located in the affected area or their nominees as representatives.
- Panchayat ghars have to be provided as per the list of Infrastructural amenities given in the Third Schedule.
PART D: The Right To Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015
Context of the Bill:
- Land Acquisition is a concurrent subject under the constitution. The main central act that governs land acquisition in India is “The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013” which replaced the “Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
- There are several differences between the 2013 Act and the 1894 Act. The definition of “public purpose” is much narrower. Thus limiting the purposes for which land can be acquired. The 2013 Act required the consent of land owners for Public private partnership projects or private projects. Compensation was two to four times of the prevailing market rates, thus higher than the rates prescribed the present bill. The 2013 Act also requires a Social Impact Assessment(SIA) to be conducted. Essentially, the SIA weighs the potential benefits of the project for which the acquisition is taking place with the social costs of such project in order to determine which side the balance is tilting. (social costs like livelihood of affected families, public and community properties, drainage, sanitation, health care facilities, electricity supply, etc)
- On the 31st of December 2014, an ordinance was promulgated to amend the 2013 Act. This ordinance was repromulgated on the 3rd April 2015 and then again on the 3rd May 2015 in a modified manner. This Amendment Bill (2015) was introduced on 11th May, 2015 to replace the ordinance that was promulgated thrice and was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee for detailed examination.
|Act:||2013 Act||2015 Amendment Bill|
|Consent||· No consent required for government projects.
· 70% land owners consent required for PPP. (public-private partnerships)
· 80% land owners consent required for private projects.
|5 exemptions from consent requirement
· rural infrastructure
· affordable housing
· industrial corridors set up by the government/governmental undertakings up to 1 km on either side of the road/railway of the corridor
· infrastructure including PPP projects where the government owns the land.
|Social Impact Assessment||· SIA is mandatory for all acquisitions except: a) in cases of emergency or b) for irrigation projects where an Environmental Impact Assessment is required.||· 1. Defence, 2. Rural infrastructure, 3. Affordable housing, 4. Industrial corridors, and 5. Infrastructure projects including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects where the central government owns the land are exempt from SIA
· The appropriate government is to ensure that the extent of land being acquired is keeping in view the bare minimum land required for such project
|Irrigated multi-cropped land||· Cannot be acquired beyond a specified limit layed down by the state government||· The 5 categories mentioned above can be exempt from this limitation.
· The government is to ensure that the extent of land being acquired is keeping in view the bare minimum land required for such project.
|Offences by the government officials||· If an offence is committed by a government department, the head of the department will be deemed guilty unless he can show that he exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence||· This provision is deleted.
· Prior sanction of the government will be required before prosecuting a government employee.
|Retrospective Application||· The 2013 Act will apply in case an award has been made five years or more before the commencement of the act, but the physical possession of the land has not been taken or compensation has not been paid.||· For the purpose of calculating the time period for retrospective application, any period during which the proceedings were held up: i) due to a stay order of the court or ii) for a period specified in the award Tribunal, or iii) for any period where possession was taken but the compensation is lying deposited in a court or any designated account, will not be counted|
|Return of unutilized land||· If land acquired under the Act remains unutilized for 5 years from the date of taking possession, it must be returned to the original owners or a land bank||· The period after which unutilized land has to be returned will be the later of i) five years or, ii) any period specified at the time of setting up the project.|
|Change from ‘private company’ to ‘private entity’||· Private Company defined in the Companies Act, 1956 or the Societies Registration Act, 1860||· ‘Private Company’ changed to ‘Private Entity’ which includes a proprietorship, partnership, company, corporation, non-profit, etc.|
|Rehabilitation and Resettlement Award||· Includes employment to one member of an affected family||· Clarifies that this will include employment to ‘one member of such affected family of farm labour’ must be given|
|Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority||· In case someone is not satisfied with an award under the Act, they can approach the LARR Authority||· Adds that the LARR Authority must its hearing in the district where land acquisition is taking place, after a reference form the Collector and giving notice to all concerned parties.|
|Compensation & Rehabilitation & Resettlement of 13 other laws that govern land acquisition||· 13 Act (such as National Highways Act, 1956 and the Railways Act, 1989) are exempt from provisions of the Act
· The compensation and R&R provisions of these Acts to be brought in consonance with the Act by January 1, 2015
|· Compensation and R&R provisions of 13 Acts are in consonance with the Act.|
PART E: STATES THAT HAVE ENACTED LAND BILLS TO CIRCUMVENT THE HURDLES AT THE CENTRE
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2016
(Presidential assent received on the 8th of August, 2016)
- Consent: There are 5 exemptions from the consent requirement for projects. Namely, projects vital to i) national security or defence, ii) rural infrastructure, iii) affordable housing, iv) industrial corridors and v) infrastructure projects including projects under PPP where the ownership of the land continues to vest with the government. (Amendment of S.2)
- Social Impact Assessment: Defence, 2. Rural infrastructure, 3. Affordable housing, 4. Industrial corridors, and 5. Infrastructure projects including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects where the central government owns the land are exempt from SIA. The appropriate government is to ensure that the extent of land being acquired is keeping in view the bare minimum land required for such project
- Retrospective Application: For the purpose of calculating the time period for retrospective application, any period during which the proceedings were held up: i) due to a stay order of the court or ii) for a period specified in the award Tribunal, or iii) for any period where possession was taken but the compensation is lying deposited in a court or any designated account, will not be counted.
- Payment of Lump sum: When the land is less than one hundred acres or whenever the land to be acquired is linear in nature, the State government has to pay lump sum amount equal to fifty percent of the amount of compensation as determined under s.27 to the affected families as Rehabilitation and Resettlement cost.
- Special Powers in case of Emergency: The 2013 Act under s.40 allows for acquiring land in cases of urgency absolutely and without any encumbrances. The amount of land that can be acquired under this provision is limited to the amount required for emergency or national security or calamity. The 2013 Act requires the approval of the parliament. This Bill qualifies the threshold by adding, “or to comply with the directions given by the Central government to the State government” after the words, approval of Parliament”
- Offences by the government officials: The 2013 Act states that If an offence is committed by a government department, the head of the department will be deemed guilty unless he can show that he exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence. This Bill changes this provision. Under the Bill, when an offence is committed by a central or state government official, at the time of commission of such offence the court shall take cognizance of it in accordance with S.197 of the CrPc.
The Rajasthan Land Acquisition Bill, 2014
The proposed bill has been uploaded on the Revenue Department’s website.
- No Social Impact Assessment Provision
- Consent: The 2013 Act takes prior consent of the people before acquisition in the scheduled areas for any land acquisition through the Gram Sabha or the Panchayat bodies or other local bodies and the consent of 80% of the population is required in case of private projects and 70% in case of PPP projects in non-scheduled areas. The Rajasthan Land Acquisition Bill has no provision for taking prior consent from the Gram Sabha or the panchayat in scheduled areas. It dilutes the consent for private projects to 70% and PPP projects to 60%.
- Rehabilitation and Resettlement: The Rajasthan Bill has a provision for 10% of the total compensation in the case of infrastructure projects and 30% of the total compensation amount as rehabilitation and resettlement cost in the case of other projects. In case the land is acquired for a private company the Bill gives an alternative to the land owners to take a lump sum amount (30% of the total compensation amount) as rehabilitation and resettlement cost or chose to revive an annuity of Rs.3,000 per month for twenty years or a one-time settlement of Rs.7.5 lakhs.
- Urgency Clause: The bill authorizes the collector to take possession of any land needed for public purpose after 15 days of publication of notice for acquisition in case of urgency on direction of the state government. However, the urgency clause in the Central Act is restricted to the minimum area required for defense of India or national security or for any emergencies arising out of natural calamities with the approval of the Parliament.
- Compensation: The Bill has decreased the compensation for urban areas from 2 times of the market value of the land to the equal value of the land and in rural areas also the compensation amount will only be 1.25 times to 2.5 times of the value of the land within 5km radius of the urban municipal limit instead of 4 times as provided in the Central Act.
- Offence: For the first time, opposition to the land acquisition is a punishable offence. The Bill provides for imprisonment for 3 to 6 months and a fine of Rs.10,000 to Rs.3,00,000 or both to whoever “willfully obstructs any person in doing any acts authorized” by the Bill.
Right To Fair Compensation and Transparency In Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation And Resettlement Rules, 2015
- Limitation on land that can be acquired: S. 3 (6) – the state government declares the maximum limit of land to be acquired for public purpose under the said act (land acquisition act, 2013) by the deputy commissioner in his jurisdiction and shall be deemed to be appropriate Government.
- Appropriate acquisition- i) Up to 5000 hectares – Deputy Commissioner, ii) Above 5000 hectares – State government.
- Urgency Provision: 5 – where any land is acquired invoking urgency provision under section 40, or any social impact assessment study exempted public purpose project, Deputy Commissioner shall give speaking orders for exemption from undertaking social impact assessment study in such acquisition.
- Consent: 18 – (1) land sought is to be acquired for the purpose as specified under s. 2(2) with the prior consent of the affected land owners and shall be obtained by the Collector concerned along with the Social Impact assessment study. S. 19 (1) : In PPP projects and projects by private companies, a list of all affected land owners from whom consent is required to be obtained shall be drawn up by Collector in consultation with the Social Impact Assessment team. The two provisions talk about to have a look at prior consent of affected persons but do not talk about the condition arising where the affected persons do not give their consent and no minimum limit of consent for acquisition has been mentioned.
- Acquisition: After the passage of the CNT and SPT Amendment Bills, 2016 the agricultural land can be used for non-agricultural purposes. The state government can acquire land for infrastructure, power plants, roads, canals, Panchayat buildings and for other purposes.
- Provision for conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes is the main issuethat’s being protested vehemently for reasons, like, one, it’s altering the basic structure of the CNT and SPT Acts which is deemed unnecessary; two, it is inconsistent with the provisions of PESA (Panchayat Extension of Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996; and three, it is fraught with grave danger of tribal tenants getting uprooted from their homes and hearths once it starts getting implemented.