Report No. 10
11. The Punjab Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1953 (XI of 1953), as amended by Act XXIV of 1954
Section 3 confers power on the competent authority to requisition any property needed for any public purpose, being a purpose of the State, after giving a show cause notice with 15 days' time limit. It exempts property used by the owner as residence or used for religious worship or as school, or hospital etc. Where the property has been used by a tenant as residence for at least 2 months prior to this date, then the competent authority shall not take possession without providing alternative accommodation.
Section 7 enables the State Government to acquire the requisitioned property for a public purpose by publishing a notice to that effect in the gazette and after giving opportunity of being heard against such acquisition. Such acquisition shall be in respect of the following only:
1. Where during the period of requisition, any works have been constructed at the expense of State Government and the Government decides that it should be secured and preserved for the purpose of Government.
2. Where the cost of restoring the property to the original condition would be excessive and the owner declines to accept release from requisition without restoration to original condition.
Decision of the State Government in this respect shall be final.
Section 8 lays down the principles and the method of determining compensation. The compensation shall be the amount fixed by agreement, or in the absence of agreement, the State Government shall appoint a person having the qualifications of a Judge of a High Court as an arbitrator. The Government as well as the person concerned may nominate persons having expert knowledge to assist the arbitrator before whom they shall state what would constitute fair amount of compensation. The arbitrator shall determine what appears to him to be just compensation and also decide the apportionment. In arriving at the compensation, he shall be guided by the following:
In case of requisitioning (a) a recurring payment for the period of requisition of a sum equal to rent payable for the use and occupation of the property, (b) the amount necessary to compensate the person interested for pecuniary loss, the expenses for vacating and reoccupying, and for damages caused during the period of requisition, including expenses necessary to restore the property to the original condition.
The compensation for acquisition of the requisitioned property shall be:
(1) the price which the requisitioned property would have fetched in the open market if it had remained in the same condition as it was at the time of requisitioning and sold on the date of acquisition, or
(2) twice the price which the requisitioned property would have fetched in the market if it had been sold on the date of requisition, whichever is less.
Section 10 provides that the person aggrieved by an order of requisitioning made by the competent authority may, within 21 days, prefer an appeal to the State Government whose decision shall be final,
Section 11 provides that the person aggrieved by the award of the arbitrator may, within 30 days, prefer an appeal to the High Court.