Sec. 24 of RFCTLARR Act 2013 — Retrospective Effect Clause for Transition of Land Acquisition Proposals from LA Act 1894 to RFCTLARR Act
31 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2014 Last revised: 3 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 1, 2014
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (“ New Act of 2013”) came into force from January 2014 repealing the erstwhile Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (“LA Act 1894”). There were multiple areas of uncertainties at the time the New Act of 2013 got presidential accent. One of the areas of the uncertainties is the operation of Section 24(2) of the New Act of 2013. The said provision states that fresh proceedings for land acquisition shall have to be carried out under New Act of 2013 succeeding the proceedings under the LA Act 1894, in case no physical possession of land has been taken or if compensation has not been paid five years after an award has been made under Section 11 of the LA Act 1894. Effectively, this provision makes the applicability of the New Act retrospective in that respect and the doubt arose as to how the said provision would work in the present scenario when so many LA proposals are mid-way and everybody want to close the LA Case in the old act since it has a scope to pay less and R&R was not mandatory. In same month of January 2014 a full-judge bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (“SC”) in the Pune Municipal Corporation case held that, "in a case where an award under Section 11 of the LA Act 1894 was passed in 2008, the land acquisition proceedings had lapsed since compensation for the acquisition had not been “paid” to the landowners, as per Section 24(2) of the New Act of 2013". The SC’s judgment was based upon the fact that the Collector had not made the payments into a court, as required under the provisions of Section 31(2) of the LA Act 1894. The Pune Municipal Corporation’s decision to expedite the transition from the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 is a shot in the arm for supporters of the new act. I have tried to analyse the Pros and cons of the proviso u/s 24 of New Act of 2013 and its far reaching consequences once the LA proceedings will resume following the Rules under New Act of 2013 will come in to force in all states and union of India. Citing few Judgement s of various High courts in India I wanted to high light in my paper what should be the approach to the provisions of Law u/s 24 of New LA Act 2013.
Keywords: Right to Fair compensation & transperency in Land Acquistion, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act 2013, RFCTLATRR Act, Sec 24 of New LARR Act, Judgements, Pune Municipal corporation case, Supreme court of India, High Court on retrospective clause, Non-Obstinate clause
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