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The Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Repeal Act, 1999

An Act of Central Government was enacted by the Parliament of India with the name and title as ‘the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Repeal Act, 1999’ (Act no. 15 of 1999). The said legislation was enacted with the object and purpose of repealing the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976 in its entirely. The Act was enacted in the 15th year of republic of India and has received the assent of honourable President of India on 22nd day of March, 1999. So far as the applicability of the provisions of this Act is concerned, the first section says that the Act should have applicability to the States of Haryana and Punjab and to all the Union territories and for other States, the will State should adopt the provisions of this Act, dealing with repealing of Act of 1976, by passing resolution for the same under Article 252 (2) of the Constitution of India. On 11th day of January, 1999, the provisions of this Act repealing Act were required to be given effect or brought into operation in the States of Haryana and Punjab and all Union Territories, however, in case of States adopting this Act, the date of its adoption will be the date of commencement of this Act.

The original Act i.e. the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976 being Act no. 33 of the year 1976 was enacted by the Indian Parliament in pursuance with the resolutions passed by the eleven State Governments to bring a uniform legal frame work on the issue, even though the topic of ‘land’ is covered under the State list as per the scheme of distribution of legislative powers under the Constitution of India. The said Act of 1976 was enacted with the purpose of imposing a ceiling on vacant land in urban agglomerations and also for acquiring of land in excess of ceiling limit. The provisions were also made for regulating the building construction on such lands in order to prevent the concentration of urban land in the hands of a few persons and speculation and profiteering therein and also to bring an equitable distribution of land in urban agglomerations for sub-serving the common good.

The present Act is being repealing Act provides for repealing of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976 being principal enactment on the afore mentioned issue. Section 2 of this repealing Act provides for repealing of said Principal Act. However, the provisions of section 3 are more important as the said section contemplates the saving provisions against the effect of repeal as aforesaid. The provision says that the repeal of the Act of 1976 i.e. Principal Act should not derogate the effect of vesting of any vacant land within the provisions of section 10(3) of the Principal Act and also the possession whereof which was taken over by the State Government concerned or by any authorized person or even by the Competent Authority should not be affected by such repealing of Principal Act. Similarly, the same saving provision further provides that, if any order passed to grant exemption within the provisions of the Principal Act or even any action which was taken under those provisions relating to grant of exemption, the validity of such order and such actions should not be affected by such repeal. Further, the repealing of such Principal Act, should not also affect the made payment to the State Government in relation to grant of exemption under the provisions of that Principal Act. The section 2 of the present Repealing Act further says that, if in case the State Government was deemed vested with any land and possession whereof was not taken over by that Government, however, the payment in relation to such vesting has been paid by that Government, then such land should not be restored without refunding of such amount received by that State Government.

Further, section 4 of the Act makes provisions to the effect that with the repealing of Principal Act by the provisions of this Act, all of the legal proceedings connected to any order under that Act, should be deemed as abated. However, proceeding in relation to certain sections including section 11 to 14 of the Act should not be affected as in those cases of land the possession whereof was taken over by the concerned State Government or authorized persons or competent authority.

Lastly, section 5 of the Act requires the Ordinance in relation to this present Act, being the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Repeal Ordinance, 1999 without affecting the actions taken in pursuance with thereto.

by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.