Re-promulgation of Land Acquisition Ordinance challenged before Supreme Court in PIL

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New Delhi: The constitutional validity of the recently re-promulgated ordinance being Land Acquisition Ordinance by the Government, was challenged before the Hon’ble Apex Court.

On this Thursday, the four Non Governmental Organisations-NGOs concerned with the farmer’s, including Delhi Grameen Samaj, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Grameen Sewa Samiti and one another NGO has filed Petitions challenging aforesaid Ordinance, as there is ultra virus acting of the Executive while entering in the domain of Legislature being law makers which is not permissible.

As per petition, the challenges of the NGOs includes that there was an Ordinance being the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Ordinance promulgated in the month of December, 2014, thereafter though Parliament session followed, the current Government instead of introducing a bill to amend existing law (i.e. Land Acquisition Act, 2013) as per ordinance, has re-promulgated the Ordinance after the session and it was while in the session decided by the said Government to not introduce the Amendment as aforesaid.

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Further, it was sought to be maintained by the petitioners that the said action of the Government has amounted to the breach of mandatory procedures provided under the Constitution of India.

The Amending ordinance was to amend the LARR Act, 2013 which was providing a process to be followed when land is acquired for a public purpose. In particular, there are certain changes sought in the original of 2013, including the effect of provisions of 13 laws relating to compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement are now by this Ordinance have been treated in consonance with the Act of 2013. Similarly, the Ordinance provides for 5 categories of use of land including defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors, and infrastructure projects including Public-Private Partnership projects where the government owns the land, are exempted from the being governed under certain provision of that Act.

Moreover, the Ordinance sought to provide the period of 5 years and other periods which was settled when the project was set up, for the returning of land to the owner thereof if the concerned land remained unutilized for that period, while the original Act was providing that if the land remained unutilized for five years then only the original owner will get his land return back.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.