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Report No. 10

16. The Vindhya Pradesh Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1953 (IV of 1953)

Section 3 provides that where property is needed for any public purpose, being a purpose of the State the competent authority may requisition the same after the usual show cause notice with 15 days time limit to object. Properties bona fide used by the owner as his residence or used for religious worship or school, hospital, library, orphanage etc. have been exempted. Further, if the requisitioned property was being used as a residence by a tenant for not less than 2 months immediately preceding the date, the competent authority shall provide alternative accommodation.

Section 7 confers the power to acquire requisitioned property whenever the State Government is of the opinion that it is necessary to do so for a public purpose, by publishing a notice in the Official Gazette and alter giving an opportunity of being heard. Such acquisition is confined only to two cases, firstly, where any works have been constructed on the property and the Government decides that it should be secured for the purpose of the State Government and secondly, where the cost of restoring the property to its original condition would be excessive and the owner refuses to accept release without compensation for such restoration.

Section 8 lays down the principles and methods of determining compensation. It shall be the amount fixed by agreement or in the absence of agreement the State Government shall appoint as arbitrator a person qualified to be a judge of a High Court. The party as well as the Government may nominate persons to assist the arbitrator before whom the party shall state as to what in their opinion would be fair amount of compensation. Nothing in the Arbitration Act shall apply to this case.

The compensation payable for requisitioned property shall consist of recurring payment equal to the rent payable for the use and occupation of the property and the sums necessary to compensate for (1) pecuniary loss, (2) expenses for vacating and reoccupying and (3) damages caused to the property during the period of requisition, including expenses incurred for restoring the property to the original condition.

It is also provided that where property has remained under requisition for more than 3 years, the rent payable as compensation for requisition, whether fixed at the request of the owner or otherwise, may be revised and the periodical compensation predetermined.

Compensation payable for acquisition of the requisitioned property shall be:-

(a) the price which the requisitioned property would have fetched in the open market if it had remained in the same condition as it was and been sold on the date of acquisition, or

(b) twice the price which the requisitioned property would have fetched in the open market, if it had been sold on the date of requisition

whichever is less.

Section 10 provides for appeals from orders of requisition. Any person aggrieved by the order of the competent authority may, within 30 days, appeal to the State Government who shall decide after hearing the parties and further inquiry and such decision shall be final.

Section 11 provides for appeals from, awards in respect of compensation. Any person aggrieved by an award of the arbitrator may, within 30 days of the award, prefer an appeal to the Judicial Commissioner.

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