The Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Amendment and Validation Act, 1971

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The Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Amendment and Validation Act, 1971 (Act No. 54 of 1971) was enacted by the Parliament of India as an enactment of the Central Government and it is for amending the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957 (Act no. 20 of 1957) and validating the certain acquisitions made under that Act by the State, of land or even rights relating to lands which were containing or were likely to containing Coal deposits. The Act was passed in the 22nd year of the republic of India and the same was given assent by the honourable President of India on 11th day of December, 1971.

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The Original Act being the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957 was the one which was enacted for establishment of greater public control over the Industries in the Coal mining and also in the Nation’s economic interest for having the development thereof by providing provisions of acquisition by the Lands containing or likely to contain the Coal deposits. In its applicability the entire territories of India made subject, however, the areas comprising the State of Jammu and Kashmir were exempted from such application. The Act was, notably provided for making provisions as to acquisition of the land for ‘Government Companies’ only and for the purpose of Coal mining and activities strictly incidental thereto. And for all other requirements, like permanent infrastructure, offices, residence etc. the land is still acquired under Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (Act no. 1 of 1894). The Act of 1957 was amended several times by different Amending Acts such as Act no. 51 of 1957, Act no. 58 of 1960, Act no. 23 of 1969 and also by the present Amending and Validating Act of 1971. The present Amending and validating Act contains in all eight provisions. The first amongst them is providing for short titling of the enactment as ‘the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Amendment and Validation Act, 1971’. However, notably, the provisions from section 2 to 7 under the enactment were not printed originally, in the Act.

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The only provision which the present Act contains is section 8 where it provides for validation of certain acquisitions made in furtherance of the Original Act. Whatever lands or rights in or upon any such lands acquired within the provisions of the Original Act of 1957 earlier to the present Act come into effect, which, irrespective of anything contrary containing in any judgment, decree or order of any Court, and whatever action taken or anything done in relation thereof, here requires to be treated as valid and not invalid on any of the ground which are mentioned in the same provision. If the one or more Competent authorities within the provisions of the Original Act has performed the their functions in relation to the land which being covered under the same notification issued under sub-section (1) of section 7 of that Act or one or more reports have been made within the provisions of the sub- section (2) of section 8 of that Act, either in respect of the entire or different parcels of land covered by the same notification under Section 7(1) of that Act or rights in or over such land, or one or more declarations have been made under section 9 of that Act in relation to the different parcels of the land covered by said notification within section 7 (1) of that Act, all these are the grounds in reference to above. Moreover, all the other actions, acquisitions and even whatever things done including any order made, agreement entered into or even notification published thereof should be valid irrespective of any grounds provided as above. As such the present Act is now serving for validating different actions, acquisitions, etc. made in pursuance with the provisions of the Act of 1957.

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