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Friday, 19 February 2021

Supreme Court notice to Haryana Government on pleas over land acquisition Act

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 18

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to the Haryana Government on petitions challenging Section 101A of the Right to Fair Compensation Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013.

Added to the Act in 2018 by an amendment passed by the Haryana Assembly, Section 101A empowers the state government to de-notify land acquired under the Land Acquisition Act 1894 if the public purpose for which it was acquired becomes unviable or unnecessary.

It also says that where a part of the acquired land has been utilised or any encumbrances have been created, the land owner may be compensated by providing alternative land along with payment of damages, if any, as determined by the state government.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde asked the state of Haryana to respond to the petitions that questioned the "unilateral power" given to the state government to de-notify the land.

The petitioners contended that the powers conferred on the state government by the insertion of Section 101A were "arbitrary and unreasonable".

The amended Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Haryana Amendment) Act has come as a shot in the arm for the Haryana Government vis-agrave;-vis de-notification of land acquired for the projects which could not take off over the years.

The Act gives an upper hand to the state government against farmers who had been delaying the execution of several major projects across the state. It was aimed at removing certain lacunae in the existing law which were allegedly exploited to derail the development projects.

The state felt the need for such an amendment as the existing provisions didn't provide for return of land to farmers whose land was acquired for the project several years back.

After notifying the new Act, the Haryana Government had set in motion the de-notification process for the 1,019 acres acquired for the Dadupur-Nalvi canal.

from The Tribune

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