Table of Content:
- Land Acquisition Act: Aim
- Land Acquisition Act in India: History
- Aim and Scope
- Compensation and Rehabilitation
- Consent and Social
- Land Acquisition Act: Issues
The Land Acquisition Act in India refers to legislation governing the government's acquisition process of private land for public purposes. The act provides the legal framework for acquiring, compensating, and rehabilitating affected individuals or communities when their land is acquired. It outlines the procedures, principles, and conditions under which land can be acquired, as well as the determination of compensation for the landowners. The act aims to balance the needs of development projects and protect the rights and interests of landowners and affected parties.
India’s Land Acquisition Act 2013 seeks to maintain the process' transparency and equity for all participants.
Land Acquisition Act: Aim
- The Land Acquisition Act in India came into force to ensure the process was transparent and in consultation with all parties involved.
- It ensures that families affected by the land acquisition are provided with fair compensation.
- The act ensures in making sufficient provisions for the affected families' rehabilitation and relocation
Interesting Read: Power of Attorney Act In India
Land Acquisition Act in India: History
The history of the Land Acquisition Act in India can be traced back to the British colonial period. The first comprehensive legislation on land acquisition was enacted in 1894, known as the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. This act provided the legal framework for the government to acquire private land for public purposes, such as infrastructure development, industrial projects, and urban planning.
The Land Acquisition Act,1894 remained largely unchanged for several decades. However, over time, concerns arose regarding the displacement of affected individuals, inadequate compensation, and insufficient provisions for rehabilitation and resettlement.
In response to these concerns, the Government of India introduced the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act (LARR Act) in 2013. The LARR Act sought to address the shortcomings of the previous legislation(Land Acquisition Act) and introduced several significant changes. It emphasized the need for consent and participation of affected individuals in the land acquisition process, enhanced compensation and rehabilitation provisions, and established a social impact assessment to assess the potential consequences of land acquisition.
However, the LARR Act faced criticism and challenges from various stakeholders, including concerns about delays and complications in the land acquisition process. In 2015, the government introduced amendments to the act to ease certain provisions and expedite land acquisition for specific categories of projects, including industrial corridors, infrastructure, and affordable housing.
These amendments, known as the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement (Amendment) Act, 2015, aimed to strike a balance between the interests of development and the welfare of affected individuals and communities.
Interesting Read: Salient Features and Benefits of RERA Act
What is the Difference Between the Land Acquisition Act 1894 and 2013?
The Land Acquisition Act 1894 and the Land Acquisition Act 2013 are two different laws in India that govern the process of land acquisition by the government.
Below, you will find how these two Land Acquisition Acts differs:
1. Aim and Scope
The Land Acquisition Act 1894 was entirely focused on acquiring land for public purposes like infrastructure development, housing projects, or any other government-related projects.
The Land Acquisition Act 2013 has expanded the scope of the land acquisition act and introduced more provisions to protect the interests of landowners.
2. Compensation and Rehabilitation
Compensation under the Land Acquisition Act 1894 was based on the market value of land, with no rehabilitation or resettlement of affected landowners.
Compensation under Land Acquisition Act 2013 was mandated to be higher, which included an additional percentage of the market value and also provisions for rehabilitation and resettlement of affected land owners.
3. Consent and Social
The Land Acquisition Act 1894 did not require any sort of consent of the owners or the conduct of social impact assessments for acquiring land.
The Land Acquisition Act 2013 provided plenty of provisions to ensure that the act worked in favour of the land owners. The consent of specified percentage of affected families is mandatory for different types of projects. Conducting a social impact assessment in order to check the potential impact on livelihood and the environment is also mandatory.
The Land Acquisition Act 1894 had a simple and opaque process for acquiring land. At that time, under the Land Acquisition Act, the government played an integral role and held the powers while landowners were provided with limited opportunities.
The Land Acquisition Act 2013 is more detailed. This Land Acquisition Act focuses on the importance of public hearings and the involvement of local authorities. Moreover, the Land Acquisition Act 2013 provides for the establishment of individual authority to check and adjudicate disputes related to the land acquisition process.
Also Read: Land Measurement Units In India You Must Know About!
Land Acquisition Act: Issues
The Land Acquisition Act 2013 went through amendments in 2015, creating a few issues:
- The social impact assessment was mandatory for acquiring land in the Land Acquisition Act; however, it was removed for security, defence, rural development, and industrial corridor projects in the amendment.
- According to the latest amendment to the Land Acquisition Act, consent is no longer mandatory. It can now result in the forceful eviction of landowners without providing any proper alternate arrangements for their rehabilitation and settlement.
- The earlier Land Acquisition Act could not acquire the multi-cropped land; however, according to the latest amendment, the multi-cropped irrigated land can be acquired for security and infrastructural projects.
The Land Acquisition Act has evolved over time to strike a balance between the development needs of the nation and the rights of landowners and affected communities. The act focuses on fair compensation, consent, social impact assessments, and rehabilitation measures, which shows its focus in safeguarding the interests and livelihoods of affected bodies.
The Land Acquisition Act in India aims at achieving sustainable development while ensuring justice, equity, and the social welfare of its citizens.
Interesting Read: Understand the 7/12 Extract and Its Legal Importance