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Report No. 10

The Rajasthan Land Acquisition Act, 1953 (XXIV of 1953)

The Rajasthan Act (XXIV of 1953), as amended, has made several additions to the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

In the definition section, clause (ee) defining "appropriate Government" is omitted and the word "Government" is substituted for the expression "appropriate Government" wherever it occurs in the Act. In the definition of 'public purpose', the following addition has been made:

"also includes planned development of lands from public funds and subsequent disposal thereof in whole or in part by lease or sale or in such other manner as may be directed by the Government with the object of securing further development as planned;"

In clause (g) of section 3 defining persons 'entitled to act', reference to married woman is omitted.

The following additions have been made to the definition section:

(h) the expression "Code" means the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (V of 1908,);

(j) the expression "local authority" includes an improvement or development trust constituted under any law for the time being in force in the whole or any part of pre-reorganisation State of Rajasthan.

Existing section 5 is renumbered as sub-section (3) of section 4 and the following new section is inserted as section 5.

"5. (1) The Collector or a Revenue Officer specially empowered by the Government in this behalf shall forward to the Government with his remarks a report on the result of the survey, if any, and other operations described in and taken under sub-section (2) of section 4.

(2) After considering the report, if any, submitted under sub-section (1) or, if no such report has been received, at any time after the issue of the notification under sub-section (1) of section 4, the Government shall publish a further notification in the Rajasthan Gazette, giving sufficient description of the land already notified under the said sub-section (1) of section 4 to enable it to be identified and stating the purpose for which it is or is likely to be needed, its approximate area and situation and, where a plan has been made of the land, the place where such plan may be inspected, and the Collector shall cause public notice to be given of the substance of the said further notification at convenient places on or near the land to be acquired."

In section 6 dealing with declaration, the following new sub-section has been added:

"(4) Upon the publication of a declaration under sub-section (1), the notification under sub-section (1) of section 4 shall, so far as it does not include the particular land covered by the said declaration, be deemed to be cancelled except to the extent, if any, that the Government may, by notification in the Rajasthan Gazette in which the said declaration is published, direct otherwise."

In section 11, additions are made laying down the time limit within which the Collector shall make an award and also providing for costs in some cases. As regards the time limit, it is stated that the Collector shall, except for reasons beyond his control, make an award within a period of six months commencing from the time fixed under sub­section (2) of section 9. The new provisions relating to costs are as under:

"(iv) the costs which, in his opinion, should be allowed to any person who is found to be entitled to compensation and who is not entitled to compensation and who is not entitled to receive the additional sum of ten per centum mentioned in sub-section (2) of section 23 as having been actually and reasonably incurred by such person in preparing his claim and putting his case before the Collector: (2) The Collector may disallow, wholly or in part, costs incurred by any person if he considers that the claim made by such person, for compensation is extravagant."

After section 12, a new section 12A has been inserted enabling the Collector to correct clerical and arithmetical mistakes in the award:

"12A. Clerical and arithmetical mistakes in the award, may, at any time not later than six months from the date of the award be corrected by the Collector either on his own initiative or on the application of the parties. If the amendment of the award discloses any overpayment the Collector shall issue a notice to the persons to whom over-payment was wrongly made either immediately after the amendment of the award or after expiry of the time allowed to make a reference to the Court against the amendment of the award, that if the amount over-paid is not credited to Government within a month after the receipt of the notice, such amount shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue."

In section 17, sub-section (2) dealing with taking immediate possession in certain emergencies, the power has been extended for the purpose of maintaining road communication or irrigation or water supply service by the following addition:

"Or whenever owing to a like emergency or owing to breaches or other unforeseen damage occurring to roads, rivers, channels or tanks it becomes necessary for the Government to acquire the immediate possession of any land for the purpose of maintaining road communication or irrigation or water supply service, as the case may be."

The following new sub-sections have been added after sub-section (4) of section 17.

"(5) Sub-sections (1) and (3) shall apply also in the case of any area which is stated in a certificate by a District Magistrate to be unhealthy.

(6) Before granting any such certificate, the District Magistrate shall cause notice to be served as promptly as may be on the persons referred to in sub­section (3) of section 9 and shall hear without any avoidable delay any objections which may be urged by them.

(7) When proceedings have been taken under this section for the acquisition of any land, and any person sustains damage in consequence of being suddenly dispossessed of such land, compensation shall be paid to such person for such dispossession."

The following new section 17A providing for the transfer of land to local authority has been inserted:

"17A. When any land is acquired for the purpose of a local authority, the Collector shall, in every case referred to in section 16 or 17, make over charge of the land, upon payment of the cost of acquisition to that authority and the land shall thereupon vest in the local authority subject to its liability to pay any further costs which may be incurred on account of its acquisition."

In section 18, provision has been made to make it possible for the Government department on whose behalf acquisition is being made to ask for a reference to the Court where it has not accepted the award.

The following new sub-section (3) has also been introduced:?

"(3) Any order made by the Collector on an application made under this section shall be subject to revision by the High Court as if the Collectors were a Court subordinate to the High Court within the meaning of section 115 of the Code."

A new section 22A has been inserted to enable the Government department to make cross-objection to the Court when the person interested under section 18(1) raises any objection which the Collector refers to the Court.

"22A. Whenever in pursuance of section 18(1) any person interested has raised any objection which has been referred by the Collector for the determination of the Court, the Government department in whose behalf acquisition is being made shall have the right of making cross-objection to the Court."

In section 23, sub-section (1) in clause firstly, the relevant date of determination of market value is the date of declaration under section 6.

In sub-section (2), the solatium is reduced to ten per cent. Sub-section (2) as modified and the new sub-section (3) inserted are given below:

"(2) In addition to the market value of the land as above provided the Court shall, in every case except where a certificate has been granted under sub-section (5) of section 17, award a sum of ten per centum on such market value in consideration of the compulsory nature of the acquisition:

Provided that the sum of ten per quantum shall not be awarded when any land has been acquired for the purpose of an improvement or development trust unless such land consists of-

(a) building in the actual occupation of the owner, or his tenant or occupied free of rent by a relative of the owner and land appurtenant thereto, or

(b) gardens not let out but used by the owner.

(3) For the purposes of clause first of sub-section (1) of this section,-

(a) the market value of the land shall be the market value according to the use to which the land was put at the date with reference to which the market value is to be determined under the clause, and for the purpose of the market value the Court shall take into consideration transfers of land similarly situated in similar use and shall not admit evidence that any price actually paid for similar land in similar use contains any element of the potential value of the land transferred for any more lucrative use, and if on the material date the land is subject to any restrictions under any law for the time being in force, the market value shall be assessed taking into account these restrictions,

(b) if it be shown that before such date the owner of the land had taken active steps and incurred expenditure to secure a more profitable use of the same, further compensation based on his actual loss may be paid to him,

(c) if the market value is specially high in consequence of the land being put to use which is unlawful or contrary to public policy, that use shall be disregarded and the market value shall be deemed to be the market value of the land if put to ordinary use,

(d) if the market value has been increased by means of any improvement made by the owner or his predecessor-in-interest within one year before the aforesaid date, such increase shall be disregarded unless it be proved that the improvement so made was made in good faith and not in contemplation of proceedings for the acquisition of the land being taken under this Act,

(e)if the market value has been increased or decreased owing to the land falling within or near to the alignment of a projected public street, so much of the increase or decrease as may be due to such cause shall be disregarded,

(f) if the market value of any building is specially high in consequence of the building being so overcrowded as to be dangerous to the health of the inmates, such overcrowding shall be disregarded and the market value shall be deemed to be the market value of the building if occupied by such number of persons only as could be accommodated in it without risk of danger from overcrowding, and

(g) when the owner of the land or building has, within two years preceding the aforesaid date, made a return of the rent of the land or building to the Government or any local authority, the rent of the land or building shall not in any case be deemed to be greater than the rent shown in the latest return so made, save as the Court may otherwise direct, and the market value may be determined on the basis of such rent:

Provided that where any addition to or improvement of, the land or building has been made after the date of such latest return and previous to the date with reference to which the market value is to be determined the court shall take into consideration any increase in the letting value of the land or building due to such addition or improvement."

The following new section 24A has been inserted:

"24A. In determining the amount of compensation to be awarded for any land acquired under this Act, the Court shall have regard also to the following provisions, namely:--

(i) when any interest in any land acquired under this Act has been acquired after the date of the publication of the declaration under section 6, no separate estimate of the value of such interest shall be made so as to increase the amount of compensation to be paid for such land;

(ii) if, in the opinion of the Court, any building which is used or is intended or is likely to be used for human habitation is not reasonably capable of being made fit for human habitation, the amount of compensation for such building shall not exceed the value of the materials of the building."

In Section 25 dealing with Rules as to compensation, in sub-section (1), there is omission of the words "be less than the amount awarded by the Collector"; and so the Court can allow even lesser compensation. Besides, sub-section (3) has also been omitted.

In sections '28 and 34, the rate of interest has been reduced to 4 per cent.

The following new sub-section has been introduced at the end of section 31.

"31. (5) When a person interested in any land and competent to contract in respect thereof has, at any stage of the proceedings for the acquisition of land stated in writing before the Collector, or, if the proceedings are pending in a Court, before that Court, that he gives up his claim to compensation in respect of the land, he shall be deemed to have received and given a valid discharge for such compensation for the land as would otherwise have been payable to him."

In Part VI dealing with "Temporary occupation of Land," two new sub-sections (2) and (3) have been introduced in section 35 and the existing sub-section renumbered as (4) and (5):

"35. (2) Before issuing a direction under sub-section (1) the Government may require a Collector to submit-

(a) a plan of the land which is needed for occupation and use,

(b) a report stating whether it is desirable to occupy the land, and

(c) an estimate of the compensation that would be payable under sub-section (4) and upon the issue of such a requisition the Collector shall cause public notice of the substance of requisition to be given at convenient places in the locality in which the land is situated. After the issue of such notice it shall be lawful for any officer either generally or specially authorised by the Collector in this behalf, and for his servants and workmen,

to enter upon and survey and take levels of any land in such locality; to dig or bore into the sub-soil;

to do all other acts necessary to ascertain whether the land is adapted for such purpose;

to set out the boundaries of the land proposed to be taken and the intended line of the work, if any, proposed to be made therein;

to make such levels, boundaries and line by placing marks and cutting trenches; and where otherwise the survey cannot be completed and the levels taken or the boundaries and line marked, to cut down and clear away any or part of the standing crop, fence or jungle.

(3) The officer authorised under sub-section (2) shall, at the time of his entry, pay or tender payment for all necessary damage to be done as aforesaid and in the case of dispute as to the sufficiency of the amount, so paid or tendered, he shall at once refer the dispute to the decision of the Collector or other Chief Revenue Officer of the District and such decision shall be final."

In section 37, where the difference as to the condition of the land has been referred to the decision of the court, it is provided that provisions of Part III would apply mutatis mutandis.

By the insertion of a new section 48A, it is provided that where the acquisition is not completed within a year compensation is to be paid for the damage suffered due to delay, A new section 48B provides that in certain cases, sections 48 and 48A would not apply:

"48A. (1) If within a period of one year from the date of the publication of the declaration under section 6 in respect of any land, the Collector has not made an award under section 11 with respect to such land, the owner of the land shall, unless he has been to a material extent responsible for the delay, be entitled to receive compensation for the damage suffered by him in consequence of the delay.

(2) The provision of Part III of this Act shall apply, so far as may be, to the determination of the compensation payable under this section."

"48B. No compensation shall be payable in pursuance of section 48 or section 48A, when proceedings for the acquisition of land have been abandoned on the execution of an agreement with, or the acceptance of a payment to the owner of the land."

The following sub-section is inserted at the end of sub-section (3) of section 49.

"(4) For the purposes of sub-section (1) land which is held with and attached to a house and is reasonably required for the enjoyment and use of the house shall be deemed to be part of the house."

A new section dealing with interpretation has been added as the last section.

"56. The provisions of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (X of 1897), shall mutatis mutandis apply so far as may be, to this Act in the same manner as they apply to a Central Act."

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