Land Acquisition

Land acquisition in India is the process by which the union or a state government in India acquires people’s private land for various purposes such as development and extension of village & town; construction of roads, reservoirs & canal; development of infrastructural facilities; urbanisation of the private land etc.; and in turn provides compensation to the affected land owners for enabling their rehabilitation and settlement.

The entire process of land acquisition has a direct bearing the projects which come up on the acquired land. Any upheaval post acquisition causes mass unrest owing to the delayed projects, ultimately causing damaging effect to the growth and development of companies, and the economy of the country as a whole. Earlier some particular Indian states used to be an attractive place for investors, be it major Indian Companies or Multinational Companies, but the present day scenario in those very states is different just due to land acquisition issues in those states.

The Land Acquisition Act 1894 governs and regulates the process of acquisition of land. As per the Act, land owned and occupied by the private citizens and non-governmental organizations are subjected to acquisition. The Act also lays down the procedure and rules for granting compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement to the affected persons in India. It has provisions to provide fair compensation to those whose land is taken away, brings transparency to the process of acquisition of land to set up factories or buildings, infrastructural projects and assures rehabilitation of those affected.

The Act provides for the competent authority which takes care of entire process of land acquisition for and on behalf of the Govt. It further provides for forums and appellate avenues for the redressal of the grievances of those affected by the land acquisition. It has categoric provisions for publication of notifications, inviting of objections from the stake holders, hearing on those objections, enquiry into measurements, value and claims, and award by the Competent Authority, payment of compensation, etc. It also provides when the award of the Competent Authority will be final, etc. If a person opts not to accept the award he/ she has a choice of moving the Court of law. The Act also has provisions as to when the land could be acquired for the Companies.

Courts & Fora: Land Acquisition

  • Hon’ble Supreme Court Of India; 
  • High Courts Of Various States;
  • Reference Court [U/S-18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1984];
  • Land Acquisition Officer.

Legislations Governing Land Acquisition In India

Judgments & Citations: Land Acquisition

Judgments & Citations: Compensation

  • Gajraj And Others Versus State Of U.P. And Others, WRIT – C No. – 37443 of 2011, Judgment Dated- 21.10.2011, Bench: Ashok Bhushan, J, S.U. Khan, J, V.K. Shukla, J., Allahabad high Court [Full PDF Judgment]- Noida, UP, Land Acquisition Matter.- Issue of Enhancement in Compensation. 
  • K.S. Sanjeev (Dead) By LRs. Etc. Versus State Of Kerala And Anr.,  Judgment Dated: 07.01.2016, Bench: Kurian Joseph & Rohinton Fali Nariman, JJ, Supreme Court Of India [Full PDF Judgment]- If the land is otherwise comparable, merely because the witness was not factually correct on description, the evidence cannot be discarded. In fixing the land value, body language of the witness or his conduct in Court are all not really relevant. The fixation is mainly based on the factual position as revealed from the documents.

Judgments & Citations: Notification

  • Eros City Developers Private Ltd. Versus State of Haryana and others, C.W.P. No. 10611 of 2004, Judgment Dated: 21.01.2008, Bench: M.M. Kumar & T.P.S. Mann, JJ, Punjab & Haryana High Court [Full PDF Judgment]- Land-Acquisition-Notification challenged- HC quashed the Notification in this Case, however the SC set aside the HC’s Order vide its Order/ Judgment passed in the following case: State of Haryana Versus Eros City Developers Pvt. Ltd. and others, Civil Appeal No.354 OF 2016, Judgment Dated: 19.01.2016, Bench: Ranjan Gogoi & Prafulla C. Pant, JJ, Supreme Court Of India.    
  • State of Haryana Versus Eros City Developers Pvt. Ltd. and others, Civil Appeal No.354 OF 2016, Judgment Dated: 19.01.2016, Bench: Ranjan Gogoi & Prafulla C. Pant, JJ, Supreme Court Of India [Full PDF Judgment]- Land-Acquisition-Notification restored observing, interalia,  that the purpose i.e. for expansion and systematic development of Surajkund Tourist Complex, is a public purpose.- Referred to & relied upon, Sooraram Pratap Reddy and Others Vs. District Collector, Ranga Reddy District and others, (2008) 9 SCC 552, wherein the SC has held that the project for which land is acquired should be taken as a whole and must be judged whether it is in the larger public interest. It cannot be split into different components and to consider whether each and every component will serve public good. A holistic approach has to be adopted in such matters.

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