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What you must know about New Land Acquisition Act, 2013?

Narendra Kumar

| Updated: Feb 15, 2019 | Category: Legal

Land Acquisition Act

If you are going through some legal proceedings with regard to land acquisition, then you should know about the Land Acquisition Act,2013. Through this Act, you will get a better solution over Land acquisition issues. Land Acquisition is a process through which a Government acquires land from landowners for various purposes.

To regulate the land acquisition activities in India and to grant compensation and rehabilitation to the affected person, Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act,2013[1] (The New land acquisition Act) was enacted.

In this blog, we will update you regarding the  New Land Acquisition Act,2013.

What is the New Land Acquisition Act, 2013 all about?

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act,2013 came into force on  January 1st,2014. It is commonly known as the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

This Act replaced the old Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The New land acquisition Act regulates the land acquisition process. In the new act, there is a special provision for granting compensation and resettlement to the persons who are affected through the land acquisition. However,  the act is meant to provide better and fair compensation to those persons whose land is taken away by the government.

When the New Land Acquisition Act, 2013 is applicable?

The Acquisition Act, 2013 is applicable when

  • Central Government and state govt acquire any land for its own use.
  • Central Government, state govt acquires land from the landlords for use of public purpose.
  • Any State Government and Central government acquires land but declares that land will be used by private companies for a public purpose.

What are the Objectives of the New Land Acquisition Act, 2013?

The main objectives of the New Land Acquisition Act, 2013 It aims to better upliftment of the people who lost their land in land acquisition and got unreasonable compensation amount in this regard.  The aims and objectives of the New land Act are to :

  • Give fair and very reasonable compensation to the persons and families whose land are acquired by the Government.
  • Provide proper rehabilitation and resettlement to such persons and families being affected by the initiation of land acquisition proceeding.
  • Provide protection to tribal communities and other people whose lands are forcibly taken by the Central Govt as well as state government.

The scope of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

The New Land Acquisition Act, 2013 was enacted to make special arrangements for providing resettlement, compensation, and rehabilitation to the landowners. The landowners were those who lost their land in land acquisition proceeding initiated by the Government.

The scope of this Act extends to those land acquisitions that were done by Central govt or any state government is covered under this act. Please note that Land acquisition proceeding that is initiated in the State of Jammu and Kashmir does not fall under the scope of this act.

Limits on land acquisition under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

Under this Act, it was mentioned that there shall be a certain limit in a matter of land acquisition. The limit is as follows:

  • The Act says that the land which falls under multi-cropped area will never acquire by the Government.
  • The new act fixed the acquisition limit at 27 acres for land where irrigation facility is available.
  • However, the new land act exempts grazing lands, sugarcane fields, Cooperative farms from scope and ambit of land acquisition proceeding.

Do you require the consent of landowners for land acquisition?

For any land acquisition, consent of the landowner is very necessary. The new act,2013 specifies that

  • If the Government wants to acquire land for any private company, then it is compulsory for the govt to get 80% consent of the landlord and his/her family members.
  • When Government plans to acquire land for the public-private project, then 70% consent of the landowner and affected family members needs to be obtained.

Provision of Compensation for landowners

In the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, there is a better provision for providing compensation to the landowners whose lands are acquired.

  • Before the land acquisition, the collector must determine the quantum of compensation
  • The collector has to award compensation to the landlord/landowner within 2 years from the date of declaration of the publication of land acquisition.
  • The compensation has to determine on basis of existing market value of the land.
  • Where the land belongs to a rural area, then the landowner will get double amount of market value of the land.
  • In case the government needs the land urgently, then the government has to pay extra and additional 75 percent of the market value of the land.

Arrangement for Rehabilitation and Resettlement

One of the basic purposes of the  New Act is to make arrangements for rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected landowners.  According to the New Act:

  • a land acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement authority will establish to check the quantum of award passed in favor of the landowner.
  • The government will provide resettlement areas having some infrastructure facilities like drinking water, drainage, banks etc.

Issuance of Notification

Whenever Govt seeks to acquire any land then it is mandatory to issue a notification in the official gazette and in any local newspaper.

Through the issuance of the notification, the landowner will aware of the land acquisition and becomes able to take appropriate necessary steps.

Advantages of the New Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

The Land Acquisition Act,2013 has numerous advantages. It basically intents to provide facilities and other benefits for people whose land were acquired without obtaining their consent and get a lower amount of compensation.

Let’s now discuss  some of the advantages of the New Land Act,2013 which are as follows:

  • Fair Compensation

The Land Acquisition Act, 2013 made provision for providing fair compensation to the landowners. The act mandates the government to provide higher compensation amount for the proposed land acquisition.

  • Prior Consent of the landowner

Under the New land act, it is mandatory for the government to obtain the prior consent of the landowners before proceeding for land acquisition.

  • Resettlement

Without making any arrangement of resettlement, the government cannot acquire any land from the landowners.

  • Public Purpose

The acquired land will be used for public purpose. Government shall not acquire any land for any other purpose which is not beneficial for the public.

Exemption from various taxes

Under the guidelines of the New Land Acquisition Act, no income tax, stamp duty will levy on any award made under this Act.

However, if any landowner does not claim such award, then he/she is liable to pay fee and income tax as prescribed under the Act.

Special Provision for the return of unutilized land

There is a special provision in the New act for the return of unutilized land. If the acquired Land was not utilized for a period of five years from the date of possession taken over by the Government, then the same shall be returned to the landowners or their legal heirs.

Imposition of Penalty for violation of the New Land Act.

The Land Acquisition Act, 2013 makes provision for imposition of penalty on account of violation of provisions of the Act.

Where it finds that any person, government authority violates any of the provision with regard to payment of compensation, rehabilitation, and resettlement, then a penalty of six months will impose on that person.

Supreme Court Judgment on New Land Acqusition Act, 2013.

In the case of Aligarh Development Authority vs. Megh Singh, Supreme Court gave decision relating to lapse of land acquisition proceeding under section 24 of the Land Acquisition Act,2013. In this case, Hon’ble Supreme Court held that:

  • Where the land acquisition proceedings had already    been     initiated under the 1894 Act but no award was passed till the date the new Act came into force;
  • Where the Award has been passed but neither the owner has been dispossessed nor has he been paid the compensation;

Under the first situation, where the award had not been passed, the acquisition proceedings could continue, but the compensation will have to be determined under the scheme of the 2013 Act.

Under the second situation, there is a statutory lapse of the proceedings.”

Conclusion

Land Acquisition Act, 2013 is way simpler than the old land acquisition act. Purpose of this new Land acquisition act is to grant fair compensation and resettlement to the affected persons. The new Act helps the landowners who lost their land. For Government, the act provides certain restrictions in a matter of land acquisition. However, the new land act also helps to increase the growth in industrial as well as agricultural sectors.

Read our article:Benami Property Laws in India

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Narendra Kumar

Experienced Finance and Legal Professional with 12+ Years of Experience in Legal, Finance, Fintech, Blockchain, and Revenue Management.

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