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Report No. 10

The Land Acquisition (U. P. Amendment) Act, 1954 (XXII of 1954)

The U.P. Act (XXII of 1954) amends the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 in so far as it applies to acquisitions of land except for the purposes of the Union. The following are the important changes effected.

The expression 'public purpose' is made to include provision for or in connection with:

(1) sanitary improvements of any kind including the reclamation;

(2) the laying out of village sites, townships or the extension plan development or improvement of existing village sites or townships;

(3) the settlement of land for agriculture with the weaker section of the people.

Again, in the definition clause, a new clause (h) defining "Land Reforms Commissioner" as one appointed by the Government has been added.

In section (4), sub-sections (1) and (2) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, the U.P. Act seeks to empower the Collector in addition to the appropriate Government in the matter of issuing the notification and authorizing an officer to enter upon and do the other acts mentioned in section 4(2).

In sub-section (1) of section 5A, the period of thirty days within which objection to acquisition is to be made is reduced to twenty-one days. Another amendment to section 12 requires the Collector to send a copy of the award to the Land Reforms Commissioner. A new section 12A is added:

"12A. The Collector may, at any time but not later than six months from the date of the award, or where a reference has been made under section 18, before the making of the reference, correct any clerical or arithmetical mistakes in the award either on his own motion or on the application of any person interested.

(2) The Collector shall give immediate notice of any correction made in the award to all persons interested.

(3) Where any excess amount is proved to have been paid to any person as a result of the corrections made in sub-section (1), such person shall be liable to refund the excess, and if he defaults or refuses to pay, the same may be realised as an arrear of land revenue".

Section 17 is amended by the insertion of the following new sub-section (1A):

"(1A) The power to take possession under sub-section (1) may also be exercised in the case of any land other than waste or arable land, where the land is acquired for or in connection with sanitary improvements of any kind or planned development".

To section 18, two new sub-sections are added:

"(3) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1) the Land Reforms Commissioner may, where he considers the amount of compensation allowed by the award under section 11 to be excessive, require the collector that the matter be referred by him to the Court for determination of the amount of compensation.

Explanation.-In any case of land under Chapter VII the requisition under this sub-section may be made at the request of the Company on its undertaking to pay all the costs consequent upon such requisition.

(4) The requisition shall state the grounds on which objection to the award is taken and shall be made within six months from the date of the award."

Section 23 is amended by the addition of the following explanation to clause (1) :

"Explanation.-In judging the market value aforesaid, in any case where land is acquired for or in connection with sanitary improvements of any kind or planned development, due regard shall be had to the insanitary and unhygienic conditions of the land on the date aforesaid."

Another important change effected is the omission of the solatium provision in section 23(2). But, however, it is provided that this omission shall not affect acquisitions made in pursuance of notification under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 issued prior to the commencement of this Act (i.e., the U.P. Act).

Section 25 is amended by the deletion of the words, "or be less than the amount awarded by the Collector under section 11". This would mean that the Court may award compensation which is even lesser than the amount awarded by the Collector under section 11.

In Part VII dealing with acquisition for companies section 39 is amended by the insertion of the following new sub-section.

"(2) In cases of acquisition of land for a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, sub-section (1) shall have effect as if for the words and figures "sections 6 to 37 both inclusive" the words and figures "sections 6 and 7" had been substituted."

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