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Comparison between Land Acquisition Bill of UPA II and NDA

October 26, 2015

 

Land-Acquisition-Bill-in-UPA-and-NDA-governments

UPA II introduced The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 – LARR Act 2013 – in Lok Sabha and passed by the Lower House.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 – LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 – was introduced in Lok Sabha by the NDA government on 11 May 2015. The same has been pending in the Rajya Sabha.

Let’s see how the two differ in approach and content.

Compensation, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Provisions

LARR Act 2013

The act exempted 13 laws, including national Highways Act, 1956 and the Railways Act, 1989 from its purview but brought the compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement aspects in consonance with LARR Act 2013 by 1 January 2015.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

The Bill ensures that R&R and Compensation provisions of 13 Acts are in consonance with the Act.

Categories for exemption

The LARR Act 2013

The Act identified five categories for land use;

  1. Defence
  2. Rural Infrastructure
  3. Affordable Housing
  4. Industrial Corridors established by the government
  5. Infrastructure projects including PPP in cases where the government owned the land. No consent was required in cases of government projects.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

Retained as above.

Consent clause for land acquisition

The LARR Act 2013

The Act stated that in cases of private land acquisition for private projects, 80% owners’ consent must be obtained, whereas in PPP projects 70% owners’ consent must be obtained. The Bill allows the government to exempt the five categories of projects mentioned above from this provision, through a notification.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

Sections of the Act that will not apply to the above mentioned five types of projects are:

  • Need for obtaining consent of 80% land owners in cases where the land acquired in for a private project and in case of PPP projects, obtaining consent from 70% land owners.
  • Undertaking a Social Impact Assessment Study (SIA)
  • Limits on acquiring multi-cropped land and other related agriculture land.

Social Impact Assessment (SIA)

The LARR Act 2013

Obtaining SIA was made mandatory for all projects to identify the affected families and to assess the cost of social impact as a result of the project. Exceptions were provided for in special cases of urgency as per Section 40, or in cases of irrigation-related projects where Environment Impact Assessment was required.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

The government has to issue a notification prior to exempting SIA.

Restrictions on Irrigated Multi-Cropped Land

The LARR Act 2013

The LARR Act 2013 put restrictions on acquisition of irrigated multi-cropped land and similar agriculture land beyond the limit, as defined by the government.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

The government may exempt the five categories mentioned above but has to issue a notification before exempting limits on multi-cropped land and agricultural land, while ensuring that the land to be acquired is within the minimum land required.

Return of Unutilized Land

The LARR Act 2013

The Act states that any land acquired under the Act and which remains unutilized, must be returned to the original owners or the land bank within a period of five years or as defined in the agreement at the time of land acquisition.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

Same as above, but stated that the period be defined as later of five years or as defined in the agreement at the time of land acquisition.

Time Period for Retrospective Application

The LARR Act 2013

The Act stated that in cases where land was acquired under The Land Acquisition Act, 1894, the same would continue to apply. However, LARR Act 2013 would apply in cases where the land was awarded five years or more prior to the LARR act 2013 but possession of land was not taken and no compensation paid. In such cases, LARR Act 2013 would apply.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

While calculating the time period for retrospective application, the following periods will not be counted:

  • Delay on account of stay order from court
  • The period specified in the order of the Tribunal
  • Time period when possession of land was taken but compensation was lying with the court or any other designated account.

Reward and Rehabilitation of Affected Families

The LARR Act 2013

The Act allows for one family member of the person offering land to be employed in a project on that land or elsewhere, as part of the reward and rehabilitation.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

The Bill clarifies that employment will be provided to one member of the affected family of farm labour.

Establishment of LARR Authority

The LARR Act 2013

The Act allows for a Land Acquisition Reward and Rehabilitation Authority to be established which can be approached by anyone with a grievance regarding compensation provided in lieu of land acquisition under the Act.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

LARR Authority must hold its hearing in the same district where the land acquisition has taken place, after obtaining reference from the District Collector and giving advance notice to all concerned parties.

Private Company versus Private Entity

The LARR Act 2013

The Act covers private companies, as defined under the Companies Act, 1956, which acquires land for public purpose.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

The term ‘private company’ was replaced with ‘private entity’ and defined as an entity other than government entity and including partnership, company, corporation, proprietorship, non-profit organisation etc.

Land Acquisition for Private Hospitals and Private Educational Institutions

The LARR Act 2013

Land acquired for setting up a private hospital or a private educational institution was kept out of the purview of the Act.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

This provision was removed, thus, keeping out private hospital and educational institutes.

Provision for offences by the Government

The LARR Act 2013

The Act holds the head of the concerned government department responsible for any offence committed by the department, unless he or she can justify the offence being committed with his or her knowledge or in cases where he or she can demonstrate due diligence undertaken to prevent the offence form happening.

LARR (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha

The Bill removed this section and instead stated that prior approval of the government is required before proceeding to take any legal action.


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