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Report No. 10

17. The West Bengal Land (Requisition and Acquisition) Act, 1948 (II of 1948), as amended by VII of 1951, VIII of 1954 and XXV of 1956

Under Section 3, the power to requisition is given to the State Government, or any person authorised, for two purposes (1) for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community, or (2) for transport, communication, irrigation or drainage. Land used for religious worship has been exempted from the purview of requisition.

The land requisitioned under section 3 may be acquired by notification in the Official Gazette to the effect that it is required for public purpose.

Sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 7 deal with compensation to be paid for acquisition while sub-sections (3) and (4) deal with compensation in case of requisition.

Compensation for land acquired under section 4 is to be determined by the Collector according to the principles laid down in section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 and the market value is as on the date of publication of notice mentioned in section 4. After determination, the Collector shall make an award as under section 11 of the Land. Acquisition Act of 1894 and the amount specified in sub-section (2) of section 23 of that Act shall not be included in this award. However the award shall include interest at 6 per cent on the compensation amount from the date of notification to the date of payment, according to sections 31 to 33 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

In case of compensation for requisition, it will include

(a) compensation for requisition made, and

(b) compensation for any damages done during the period or requisition.

The principles governing the determination of compensation are as follows:-

(1) Where there is agreement, then the sum agreed would be the compensation,

(2) Where the person is not traced or does not appear, that sum which appears to the Collector to be reasonable under the circumstances of the case would be the compensation,

(3) In case of disagreement, the sum to be determined by the court on a reference made by the Collector under section 8 would be the compensation.

If the party is aggrieved about the award of compensation for acquisition, or in cases of requisition if the party does not consider the sum awarded as reasonable or is disagreed as to the amount, section 8 enjoins the Collector to refer the matter to the decision of the Court.

In respect of reference made to the Court, the principles set out in sub-section (1) and in clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 7 of this Act would apply.

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