SC order paves way for faster land acquisition,reduced litigation

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News:The Supreme Court has held that proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act 1894 will not lapse if the compensation has been tendered by deposit in treasury.

Facts:

What was the issue?

  • The issue was the interpretation of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.This act had replaced the colonial 1894 land acquisition law.
  • Section 24(2) states that in case of land acquisition proceedings, if a developer fails to take possession of land acquired under the old laws for five years or if compensation is not paid to the owner,the land acquisition process would lapse. 
  • The process would then have to be re-initiated under 2013 Act which would allow the owner to get better compensation.

About the Judgement:

  • The court has ruled that the compensation would be considered paid if the amount is put in the Treasury. 
  • There was no obligation that the amount should be deposited in the court in order to sustain the land acquisition proceedings under the 2013 Act.
  • Hence,the landowners who had refused to accept the compensation under the earlier Act cannot take benefit of deemed lapse of acquisition under Section 24 of the new act of 2013.