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Report No. 138


Synopsis of Legislation Relating to Slums

(Refer para 8.5)

1. The Central Act of 1956.-

In order to understand the scope of the present legislation relating to slums, it may be convenient to have a brief look at the relevant enactments. It may be mentioned that the Central Act on the subject-the Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act (96 of 1956)-does not extend to the States, but extends to all Union Territories except Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands. Section 3 of the Act gives power to the competent authority (that is, the authority appointed by the Administrator) to declare certain areas as slum areas.

Section 4 gives the competent authority power to improve buildings unfit for human habitation and section 6A gives power to the competent authority to enforce restrictions on the erection of buildings in slum areas. Section 7 gives to the same authority power to order the demolition of buildings unfit for human habitation. Sections 9 and 10 of the Act give power to issue a slum clearance' order. Section 12 gives to the Central Government power to acquire land in order to enable the competent authority to execute works in slum areas, subject to the payment of compensation. Section 19 prohibits the eviction of tenants in slum areas, without the previous permission of the competent authority.

Section 19(4) of the Central Act of 1956 provides that in granting or refusing to grant such permission, the competent authority shall take into account the following factors, namely:-

(a) whether alternative accommodation within the means of the tenant would be available to him, if he were evicted;

(b) whether the eviction is in the interest of improvement and clearance of the slum areas;

(c) such other factors, if any, as may be prescribed.

2. By section 20 of the Central Act of 1956, an appeal can be filed by a person aggrieved by the refusal of the competent authority to grant permission for eviction. Section 20A provides for the restoration of premises vacated by the tenants in a slum area, who vacate or are evicted, for effecting improvements. Section 20B imposes certain restrictions regarding the rent of buildings in slum areas, let out to the tenants after the execution of the work of improvement or after the building has been re-erected.

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