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Report No. 10

9. The Orissa Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 (XXIX of 1952)

This Act provides for the requisitioning and acquisition of immovable property for purposes of the State of Orissa.

Section 3 lays down that if, in the opinion of the competent authority, property is needed or likely to be needed for any public purpose (being a purpose of the State of Orissa) he may serve a show cause notice with fifteen days time limit that such property is to be requisitioned. If, after representation, requisitioning is deemed necessary the competent authority may do so by an order in writing.

However, exemption is granted in the following cases:

(1) where it is used by the owner as the residence of himself or of his family,

(2) where it is used for purposes of religious worship or as school, hospital or public library or orphanage etc.

Section 7 states that where it is found necessary, the State Government may by notification in the gazette acquire the property so requisitioned for a public purpose in the following circumstances:

(a) where works (buildings, structures etc.) have been constructed on the property at the expense of the Government and the Government decides to preserve the same for the purposes of Government, or

(b) where the cost of restoring the property to its original conditions that existed at the time of requisition would be excessive and the owner declines to accept release from requisition without compensation for such restoration to original condition.

The decision of the Government in respect of (a) and (b) above shall be final and shall not be called in question in a court of law.

Section 8 provides for the principles and the method of determination of compensation. The principles are as follows:-

(a) Where there is agreement, the amount agreed to would be the compensation.

(b) In case of disagreement, the Government shall appoint a person who is or has been, or is qualified to be a District Judge as the Arbitrator.

(c) The Government may also nominate a person who has got expert knowledge as to the nature of the property to assist the Arbitrator and likewise the person to be compensated may also nominate an assessor.

(d) At the commencement of the proceedings before the Arbitrator, the Government as well as the person to be compensated may state as to what in their opinion is the fair amount of compensation.

(e) After hearing, the Arbitrator shall make an award determining the amount of compensation which appears to him to be just and in making the award, he shall be guided, in so far as it is possible, by the provisions of sub-sections (2) and (3) below.

(f) The Arbitrator shall decide the persons entitled to receive compensation as well as the apportionment.

(g) Nothing in the Arbitration Act, 1940 shall apply to arbitration under this section. Compensation to be paid to requisitioned property shall consist of-

(a) a recurring payment for the period of requisition of a sum equal to the rent payable for the use and occupation of the property, and

(b) such sums as may be necessary to compensate the person interested in respect of the following:

(i) pecuniary loss due to requisition;

(ii) expenses for vacating the premises;

(iii) expenses for re-occupying after release;

(iv) any damage other than normal wear and tear caused during the period of requisition, including expenses incurred to restore the property to the condition in which it was at the time of requisition.

Compensation payable for the acquisition of property under section 7 shall be-

(a) the price which the requisitioned property would have fetched in the open market had it remained in the same condition as it was at the time of requisition and sold on the date of the 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 enables the person aggrieved by an order of requisition under sub-section (2) of section 3 to appeal to the State Government within 21 days from the date of the service of the order.

After calling for report from the competent authority and giving opportunity to the party of being heard, the Government may pass orders which shall be final.

Section 11 enables the person aggrieved by an award of the Arbitrator under section 8 to prefer an appeal to the High Court within 30 days of the award.

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