Land bill in cabinet today, changes propose retrospective application
The union cabinet is due to discuss the amendments to the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill on Thursday.
The changes suggest that the new law will be applicable to all ongoing land acquisition proceedings where “no award” has been made under the existing Land Acquisition Act, 1894. It also says the compensation package of the new law will apply even in cases where payments have been announced but possession of the land has not been taken or compensation has not been paid to the owner.
In a provision that could prove controversial, the amendments contain an explanation stressing that all cases where compensation has not been accepted or has been accepted under protest will be “deemed to be unpaid”.
The explanation also says that the compensation will be deemed paid only if it has been credited in the bank account of the land owner.
Another proposal in the amendments says all cases of acquisition will be deemed to have lapsed if possession of the land has not been taken or compensation not paid for at least five years before the new law comes into force even though a payment has been announced.
Top government sources said that the finance ministry objected to this provision during consultations in the Group of Ministers. The ministry is learnt