Short title, extent and commencement. —(1) This Act may be called the Land Acquisition Act 1894
(2) It extends to the whole of India [except the State of Jammu and Kashmir]
(3) It shall come into force on the 1st day of March, 1894.
- Repeal and saving. —[Repealed partly by the Repealing and Amending Act, 1914 (X of 1914) Section 3 and Sch. II and partly by the Repealing Act, 1938 (1 of 1938) Section 2 and Sch.]
- Definitions. —In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context, —
(a) the expression “land” includes benefits to arise out of land, and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth;
[“(aa) the expression “local authority” includes a town planning authority (by whatever name called) set up under any law for the time being in force];
(b) the expression “person interested” includes all persons claiming an interest in compensation to be made on account of the acquisition of land under this Act; and a person shall be deemed to be interested in land if he is interested in an easement affecting the land;
(c) the expression “Collector” means the Collector of a district, and includes a Deputy Commissioner and any officer specially appointed by the Appropriate Government to perform the functions of a Collector under this Act;
[(cc) the expression “corporation owned or controlled by the State” means any body corporate established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act, and includes a Government company as defined in Section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956), a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860), or under any corresponding law for the time being in force in a State, being a society established or administered by Government and a co-operative society within the meaning of any law relating to co-operative societies for the time being in force in any State, being a co-operative society in which not less than fifty-one per centum of the paid-up share capital is held by the Central Government, or by any State Government or Governments, or partly by the Central Government and partly by one or more State Governments;]”
(d) the expression “Court” means a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction, unless the Appropriate Government has appointed (as it is hereby empowered to do) a special judicial officer within any specified local limits to perform the functions of the Court under this Act;
(e) the expression “company” means —
(i) a company as defined in Section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956), other than a Government company referred to in clause (cc);
(ii) a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860), or under any corresponding law for the time being in force in a State, other than a society referred to in clause (cc);
(iii) a co-operative society within the meaning of any law relating to co-operative societies for the time being in force in any State, other than a co-operative society referred to in clause (cc);
(ee) the expression “appropriate Government” means in relation to acquisition of land for the purposes of the Union the Central Government, and, in relation to acquisition of land for any other purposes, the State Government;
[(f) the expression “public purpose” includes —
(i) the provision of village-sites, or the extension, planned development or improvement of existing village-sites;
(ii) the provision of land for town or rural planning;
(iii) the provision of land for planned development of land from public funds in pursuance of any scheme or policy of Government and subsequent disposal thereof in whole or in part by lease, assignment or outright sale with the object of securing further development as planned;
(iv) the provision of land for a corporation owned or controlled by the State;
(v) the provision of land for residential purposes to the poor or landless or to persons residing in areas affected by natural calamities, or to persons displaced or affected by reason of the implementation of any scheme undertaken by Government, any local authority or a corporation owned or controlled by the State;
(vi) the provision of land for carrying out any educational, housing, health or slum clearance scheme sponsored by Government, or by any authority established by Government for carrying out any such scheme, or, with the prior approval of the appropriate Government, by local authority, or a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860), or under any corresponding law for the time being in force in a State, or a co-operative society within the meaning of any law relating to co-operative societies for the time being in force in any State;
(vii) the provision of land for any other scheme of development sponsored by Government or, with the prior approval of the appropriate Government, by a local authority;
(viii) the provision of any premises or building for locating a public office,
but does not include acquisition of land for companies]
(g) the following persons shall be deemed persons “entitled to act” as and to the extent hereinafter provided (that is to say) — trustees for other persons beneficially interested shall be deemed the persons entitled to act with reference to any such case, and that to the same extent as the persons beneficially interested could have acted if free from disability; a married woman, in cases to which the English law is applicable, shall be deemed the person so entitled to act, and, whether of full age or not, to the same extent as if she were unmarried and of full age; and the guardians of minors and the committees or managers of lunatics or idiots shall be deemed respectively the persons so entitled to act, to the same extent as the minors, lunatic or idiots themselves, if free from disability, could have acted:
Provided that —
(i) no person shall be deemed “entitled to act” whose interests in the subject-matter shall be shown to the satisfaction of the Collector or Court to be adverse to the interest of the person interested for whom he would otherwise be entitled to act;
(ii) in every such case the person interested may appear by a next friend, or, in default of his appearance by a next friend, the Collector or Court, as the case may be, shall appoint a guardian for the case to act on his behalf in the conduct thereof;
(iii) the provisions of [Order XXXI of the first schedule to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908)], shall, mutatis mutandis, apply in the case of persons interested appearing before a Collector or Court by a next friend, or by a guardian for the case, in proceedings under this Act; and
(iv) no person “entitled to act” shall be competent to receive the compensation money payable to the person for whom he is entitled to act, unless he would have been competent to alienate the land and receive and give a good discharge for the purchase money on a voluntary sale.
Public Purpose, A public purpose is one wherein the general interest of the community as opposed to the particular interest of individuals is directly and vitally concerned. Acquisition of land by the municipality for widening of street, the reclamation of unhealthy localities and any other measure likely to promote the public safety, health, convenience and education is a public purpose. (Shastri Ram Chandra v. Ahmedabad Municipality, ILF 24 Bom. 600)
The expression “public purpose” has been used in its generic sense of including any purpose in which even a fraction of the community may be interested or by which it may be benefitted. (Babu Barkya Thakur v. State of Bombay, AIR 1960 S.C. 1203) (Followed in Somawanti v. State of Punjab, AIR 1963 S.C. 151)
- Publication of preliminary notification and powers of officers thereupon. —(1) Whenever it appears to the appropriate Government that land in any locality is needed or is likely to be needed for any public purpose or for a company a notification to that effect shall be published in the Official Gazette [and in two daily newspapers circulating in that locality of which at least one shall be in the regional language] and the Collector shall cause public notice of the substance of such notification to be given at convenient places in the said locality [the last of the dates of such publication and the giving of such public notice, being hereinafter referred to as the date of publication of the notification].
(2) Thereupon it shall be lawful for any officer, either, generally or specially authorised by such government in this behalf, and for his servants and workmen,
to enter upon and survey and take levels of any land in such locality;
to dig or bore in the sub-soil;
to do all other acts necessary to ascertain whether the land is adapted for such purposes;
to set out the boundaries of the land proposed to be taken and the intended line of the work (if any) proposed to be made thereon;
to mark such levels, boundaries and line by placing marks and cutting trenches,
and, where otherwise the survey cannot be completed and the levels taken and the boundaries and line marked, to cut down and clear away any part of any standing crop, fence or jungle:
Provided that no person shall enter into any building or upon any enclosed court or garden attached to a dwelling-house (unless with the consent of the occupier thereof) without previously giving such occupier at least seven days’ notice in writing of his intention to do so.
Failure to specify the instrumentality which is to execute the public purpose does not affect the validity of the notification under Sections 4 or 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. (Madhusudan Chhotelal v. Special Land Acquisition Officer, AIR 1980 S.C. 318)
Change of user — Land acquired for public purpose of housing scheme, but sought to be used for commercial purpose, namely District Centre, which itself is a public purpose. Held, notification cannot be quashed on ground of a change of user. (Union of India & Ors. v. Jaswant Rai Kochhar & Ors., 1996(3) SCC 491)
- Payment for damage. —The officer so authorised shall at the time of such entry pay or tender payment for all necessary damage to be done as aforesaid, and in case of dispute as to the sufficiency of the amount so paid or tendered, he shall at once refer the dispute to the decision of the Collector or other Chief Revenue Officer of the district, and such decision shall be final.
5A. Hearing of objections. — (1) Any person interested in any land which has been notified under Section 4, sub-section (1), as being needed or likely to be needed for a public purpose or for a company may, within thirty days form the date of the publication of the notification, object to the acquisition of the land or of any land in the locality, as the case may be.
(2) Every objection under sub-section (1) shall be made to the Collector in writing, and the Collector shall give the objector, an opportunity of being heard in person or by any person authorised by him in this behalf or by pleader and shall, after hearing all such objections and after making such further inquiry, if any, as he thinks necessary, either make a report in respect of the land which has been notified under Section, 4, sub-section (1), or make different reports in respect of different parcels of such land, to the appropriate Government, containing his recommendations on the objections, together with the record of the proceedings held by him, for the decision of that Government. The decision of the Appropriate Government on the objections shall be final.
(3) For the purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed to be interested in land who would be entitled to claim an interest in compensation if the land were acquired under this Act.
An objection under Section 5-A is required to be filed within 30 days after the issue of notification and if it is filed after the expiry of the said period, it need not be considered. (Sanyojan Cooperative Housing Society Ltd. v. Surajban, AIR 1986 Gujarat 118 (FB).
Declaration of intended acquisition
- Declaration that land is required for a public purpose. —(1) Subject to the provisions of Part VII of this Act, when the Appropriate Government is satisfied after considering the report, if any, made under Section 5A, sub-section (2), that any particular land is needed for a public purpose, or for a company, a declaration shall be made to that effect under the signature of a Secretary to such Government or of some officer duly authorised to certify its orders and different declarations may be made from time to time in respect of different parcels of any land covered by the same notification under Section 4, sub-section (1), irrespective of whether one report or different reports has or have been made (wherever required) under Section 5-A, sub-section (2):
[Provided that no declaration in respect of any particular land covered by a notification under Section 4, sub-section (1), —
(i) published after the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 1967 but before the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984 shall be made after the expiry of three years from the date of the publication of the notification; or
(ii) published after the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, shall be made after the expiry of one year from the date of the publication of the notification]
Provided further that no such declaration shall be made unless the compensation to be awarded for such property is to be paid by a company, or wholly or partly out of public revenues or some fund controlled or managed by a local authority.
[Explanation 1. — In computing any of the periods referred to in the first proviso, the period during which any action or proceeding to be taken in pursuance of the notification issued under Section 4, sub-section (1), is stayed by an order of a Court shall be excluded
Explanation 2. — Where the compensation to be awarded for such property is to be paid out of the funds of a corporation owned or controlled by the State, such compensation shall be deemed to be compensation paid out of public revenues].
(2) Every declaration shall be published in the Official Gazette, [and in two daily newspapers circulating in the locality in which the land is situate of which at least one shall be in the regional language, and the Collector shall cause public notice of the substance of such declaration to be given at convenient places in the said locality (the last of the date of such publication and the giving of such public notice, being hereinafter referred to as the date of publication of the declaration), and such declaration shall state] the district or other territorial division in which the land is situate, the purpose for which it is needed, its approximate area, and where a plan shall have been made of the land, the place where such plan may be inspected.
(3) The said declaration shall be conclusive evidence that the land is needed for a public purpose or for a company, as the case may be; and, after making such declaration the Appropriate Government may acquire the land in a manner hereinafter appearing.
- After declaration, Collector to take order for acquisition. —Whenever any land shall have been so declared to be needed for a public purpose or for a company, the appropriate Government or some officer authorised by the appropriate Government in this behalf, shall direct the Collector to take order for the acquisition of the land.
- Land to be marked out, measured and planned. —The Collector shall thereupon cause the land (unless it has been already marked out under Section 4), to be marked out. He shall also cause it to be measured, and (if no plan has been made thereof), a plan to be made of the same.
- Notice to persons interested. —(1) The Collector shall then cause public notice to be given at convenient places on or near the land to be taken, stating that the Government intends to take possession of the land, and that claims to compensation for all interests in such land may be made to him.
(2) Such notice shall state the particulars of the land so needed, and shall require all persons interested in the land to appear personally or by agent before the Collector at a time and place therein mentioned (such time not being earlier than fifteen days after the date of publication of the notice), and to state the nature of their respective interests in the land and the amount and particulars of their claims to compensation for such interests, and their objections (if any) to the measurements made under Section 8. The Collector may in any case require such statement to be made in writing and signed by the party or his agent.
(3) The Collector shall also serve notice to the same effect on the occupier (if any) of such land and on all such persons known or believed to be interested therein, or to be entitled to act for persons so interested, as reside or have agents authorised to receive service on their behalf, within the revenue district in which the land is situate.
(4) In case any person so interested resides elsewhere, and has no such agent the notice shall be sent to him by post in a letter addressed to him at his last known residence, address or place of business and [registered under Sections 28 and 29of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 (6 of 1898)].
- Power to require and enforce the making of statements as to names and interests. —(1) The Collector may also require any such person to make or deliver to him, at a time and place mentioned (such time not being earlier than fifteen days after the date of the requisition), a statement containing, so far as may be practicable, the name of every other person possessing any interest in the land or any part thereof as co-proprietor, mortgagee, tenant or otherwise, and of the nature of such interest, and of the rents and profits (if any) received or receivable on account thereof for three years next preceding the date of the statement.
(2) Every person required to make or deliver a statement under this section or Section 9 shall be deemed to be legally bound to do so within the meaning of Sections 175 and 176 of the Indian Penal Code.
Enquiry into measurements, value and claims and award by the Collector
- Enquiry and award by Collector. —[(1)] On the day so fixed, or any other day to which the enquiry has been adjourned, the Collector shall proceed to enquire into the objections (if any) which any person interested has stated pursuant to a notice given under Section 9 to the measurements made under Section 8, and into the value of the land and at the date of the publication of the notification under Section 4, sub-section (1), and into the respective interests of the persons claiming the compensation, and shall make an award under his hand of —
(i) the true area of the land;
(ii) the compensation which in his opinion should be allowed for the land; and
(iii) the apportionment of the said compensation among all the persons known or believed to be interested in the land, of whom, or of whose claims, he has information, whether or not they have respectively appeared before him:
[Provided that no award shall be made by the Collector under this sub-section without the previous approval of the appropriate Government or of such officer as the appropriate Government may authorise in this behalf:
Provided further that it shall be competent for the Appropriate Government to direct that the Collector may make such award without such approval in such class of cases as the Appropriate Government may specify in this behalf];
[(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), if at any stage of the proceedings, the Collector is satisfied that all the persons interested in the land who appeared before him have agreed in writing on the matters to be included in the award of the Collector in the form prescribed by rules made by the appropriate Government, he may, without making further enquiry, make an award according to the terms of such agreement.
(3) The determination of compensation for any land under sub-section (2) shall not, in anyway affect the determination of compensation in respect of other lands in the same locality or elsewhere in accordance with the other provisions of this Act.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), no agreement made under sub-section (2) shall be liable to registration under that Act.]
[11A. Period within which an award shall be made. — (1) The Collector shall make an award under Section 11 within a period of two years from the date of the publication of the declaration and if no award is made within that period, the entire proceedings for the acquisition of the land shall lapse:
Provided that in a case where the said declaration has been published before the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, the award shall be made within a period of two years from such commencement.
Explanation. — In computing the period of two years referred to in this section the period during which any action or proceeding to be taken in pursuance of the said declaration is stayed by an order of a Court shall be excluded.].
Under Section 11-A the Collector is empowered to make an award before the enquiry period of two years from the date of publication of the declaration under Section 6 of the Act and in a case where the said declaration has been published before the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, before the expiry period of two years from the date of its commencement. Award made at the end of two years from the commencement of Amendment Act of 1984 is not liable to be quashed on ground of inordinate delay. (Kaliyappan v. State of Kerala, AIR 1989 S.C. 239).
- Award of Collector when to be final. — (1) Such award shall be filed in the Collector’s office and shall, except as hereinafter provided, be final and conclusive evidence, as between the Collector and the persons interested, whether they have respectively appeared before the Collector or not, of the true area and value of the land, and apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested.
(2) The Collector shall give immediate notice of his award to such of the persons interested as are not present personally or by their representatives when the award is made.
- Adjournment of enquiry. —The Collector may, for any cause he thinks fit, from time to time, adjourn the enquiry to a day to be fixed by him.
[13A. Correction of clerical errors, etc. — (1) The Collector may, at any time but not later than six months from the date of the award, or where he has been required under Section 18 to make a reference to the Court, before the making of such reference, by order, correct any clerical or arithmetical mistakes in the award or errors arising therein either on his own motion or on the application of any person interested or a local authority:
Provided that no correction which is likely to affect prejudicially any person shall be made unless such person has been given a reasonable opportunity of making a representation in the matter.
(2) The Collector shall give immediate notice of any correction made in the award to all the persons interested.
(3) Where any excess amount is proved to have been paid to any person as a result of the correction made under sub-section (1), the excess amount so paid shall be liable to be refunded and in the case of any default or refusal to pay, the same may be recovered as an arrear of land revenue.]
- Power to summon and enforce attendance of witnesses and production of documents. —For the purpose of enquiries under this Act the Collector shall have power to summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses, including tree parties interested or any of them, and to compel the production of documents by the same means, and (so far as may be) in the same manner as is provided in the case of a Civil Court under the [Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).]
- Matters to be considered and neglected. —In determining the amount of compensation, the Collector shall be guided by the provisions contained in Sections 23 and 24.
[15A. Power to call for records, etc. — The appropriate Government may at any time before the award is made by the Collector under Section 11 call for any record to any proceedings (whether by way of enquiry or otherwise) for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the legality or propriety of any finding or order passed or as to the regularity of such proceedings and may pass such order or issue such direction in relation thereto as it may think fit:
Provided that the appropriate Government shall not pass or issue any order or direction prejudicial to any person without affording such person a reasonable opportunity of being heard.]
- Power to take possession. —When the Collector has made an award under Section 11, he may take possession of the land, which shall thereupon vest absolutely in the Government, free from all encumbrances.
- Special powers in cases of urgency. —(1) In cases of urgency, whenever the Appropriate Government so directs, the Collector, through no such award has been made, may, on the expiration of fifteen days from the publication of the notice mentioned in Section 9, sub-section (1), [take possession of any land needed for a public purpose]. Such land shall thereupon vest absolutely in the Government, free from all encumbrances.
(2) Whenever owing to any sudden change in the channel of any navigable river or other unforeseen emergency, it becomes necessary for any Railway administration to acquire the immediate possession of any land for the maintenance of their traffic or for the purpose of making thereon a river-side or ghat station, or of providing convenient connection with or access to any such station, [or the appropriate Government considers it necessary to acquire the immediate possession of any land for the purpose of maintaining any structure or system pertaining to irrigation, water supply, drainage, road communication or electricity,] the Collector may, immediately after the publication of the notice mentioned in sub-section (1) and with the previous sanction of the appropriate Government, enter upon and take possession of such land, which shall thereupon vest absolutely in the Government free from all encumbrances.
Provided that the Collector shall not take possession on any building or part of a building under this sub-section without giving to the occupier thereof at least forty-eight hours’ notice of his intention so to do, or such longer notice as may be reasonably sufficient to enable such occupier to remove his movable property from such building without unnecessary inconvenience.
(3) In every case under either of the proceeding sub-sections the Collector shall at the time of taking possession offer to the persons interested, compensation for the standing crops and trees (if any) on such land and for any other damage sustained by them caused by such sudden dispossession and not excepted in Section 24; and, in case such offer is not accepted, the value of such crops and trees and the amount of such other damage shall be allowed for in awarding compensation for the land under the provisions herein contained.
[(3A) Before taking possession of any land under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the Collector shall, without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (3), —
(a) tender payment of eight per centum of the compensation for such land as estimated by him to the persons interested entitled thereto, and
(b) pay it to them, unless prevented by some one or more of the contingencies mentioned in Section 31, sub-section (2), and where the Collector is so prevented, the provisions of Section 31, sub-section (2), (except the second proviso thereto), shall apply as they apply to the payment of compensation under that section.
(3-B) The amount paid or deposited under sub-section (3A), shall be taken into account for determining the amount of compensation required to be tendered under Section 31, and where the amount so paid or deposited exceeds the compensation awarded by the Collector under Section 11, the excess may, unless refunded within three months from the date of the Collector’s award, be recovered as an arrear of land revenue.]
(4) In the cases of any land to which, in the opinion of the appropriate Government, the provisions of sub-section (1), or sub-section (2) are applicable, the appropriate Government may direct that the provisions of Section 5A shall not apply, and, if it does so direct, a declaration may be made under Section 6 in respect of the land at any time [after the date of the publication of the notification] under Section 4, sub-section (1) :
REFERENCE TO COURT AND PROCEDURE THEREON
- Reference to Court. —(1) Any person interested who has not accepted the award may, by written application to the Collector, require that the matter be referred by the Collector for the determination of the Court, whether his objection be to the measurement of the land, the amount of the compensation, the persons to whom it is payable, or the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested.
(2) The application shall state the grounds on which objection to the award is taken:
(a) if the person making it was present or represented before the Collector at the time when he made his award, within six weeks from the date of the Collector’s award;
(b) in other cases, within six weeks of the receipt of the notice from the Collector under Section 12, sub-section (2); or within six months from the date of the Collector’s award, whichever period shall first expire.
- Collector’s statement to the Court. —(1) In making the reference, the Collector shall state, for the information of the Court, in writing under his hand —
(a) the situation and extent of the land, with particulars of any trees, buildings or standing crops thereon;
(b) the names of the persons whom he has reasons to think interested in such land;
(c) the amount awarded for damages and paid or tendered under Sections 5 and 17, or either of them, and the amount of compensation awarded under Section 11; [* * * ]
[(cc) the amount paid or deposited under sub-section (3A) of Section 17; and]
(d) if the objection be to the amount of the compensation, the grounds on which the amount of compensation was determined.
(2) To the said statement, shall be attached a Schedule giving the particulars of the notices served upon, adn of the statements in writing made or delivered by the parties interested, respectively.
- Service of notice. —The Court shall thereupon cause a notice, specifying the day on which the Court will proceed to determing the objection, and directing their appearance before the Court on that day, to be served on the following person, namely, —
(a) the applicant;
(b) All persons interested in the objection, except such (if any) of them as have consented without protest to receive payment of the compensation awarded; and
(c) in the objection is in regard to the area of the land or to the amount of compensation, the Collector.
- Restriction on scope of proceedings. —The scope of the inquiry in every such proceeding shall be restricted to a consideration of the interests of the persons affected by the objection.
- Proceedings to be in open court. —Every such proceeding shall take place in open court, and all persons entitled to practice in any Civil Court in the State shall be entitled to appear, plead and act (as the case may be) in such proceeding.
- Matters to be considered in determining compensation. —(1) In determining the amount of compensation to be awarded for land acquired under this Act, the court shall take into consideration —
first, the market value of the land at the date of the publication of the notification under Section 4, sub-section (1);
secondly, the damage sustained by the person interested, by reason of the taking of any standing crops or trees which may be on the land at the time of the Collector’s taking possession thereof;
thirdly, the damage (if any), sustained by the person interested, at the time of the Collector’s taking possession of the land, by reason of severing such land from his other land;
fourthly, the damage (if any), sustained by the person interested, at the time of the Collector’s taking possession of the land, by reason of the acquisition injuriously affecting his other property, movable or immovable, in any other manner, or his earnings;
fifthly, if, in consequence of the acquisition of the land by the Collector, the person interested is compelled to change his residence or place of business, the reasonable expenses (if any) incidental to such change; and
sixthly, the damage (if any) bona fide resulting from diminution of the profits of the land between the time of the publication of the declaration under Section 6 and the time of the Collector’s taking possession of the land.
[(1A) In addition to the market value of the land above provided, the Court shall in every case award an amount calculated at the rate of twelve per centum per annum on such market-value for the period commencing on and from the date of the publication of the notification under Section 4, sub-section (1), in respect of such land to the date of the award of the Collector or the date of taking possession of the land, whichever is earlier.
Explanation. — In computing the period referred to in this sub-section, any period or periods during which the proceedings for the acquisition of the land were help up on account of any stay or injunction by the order of any court shall be excluded.]
(2) In addition to the market-value of the land, as above provided, the court shall in every case award a sum of [thirty per centum] on such market-value, in consideration of the compulsory nature of the acquisition.
It is settled principle that it is the duty of the Court to assess reasonable compensation. Burden is on the owner to prove the prevailing market value of the land. (State of U.P. v. Ram Kumari Devi, J.T. 1996 (3) S.C. 380)
- Matters to be neglected in determining compensation. —But the court shall not take into consideration —
first, the degree of urgency which has led to the acquisition;
secondly, any disinclination of the person interested to part with the land acquired;
thirdly, any damage sustained by him which, if caused by a private person, would not render such person liable to a suit;
fourthly, any damage which is likely to be caused to the land acquired, after the date of the publication of the declaration under Section 6, by or in consequence of the use to which it will be put;
fifthly, any increase to the value of the land acquired likely to accrue from the use to which it will be put when acquired;
sixthly, any increase to the value of the other land of the person interested likely to accrue from the use to which the land acquired will be put;
seventhly, any outlay or improvements on, or disposal of, the land acquired, commenced, made or effected without the sanction of the Collector after the date of the publication of the notification under Section 4, sub-section (1); [or]
[eighthly, any increase to the value of the land on account of its being part to any use which is forbidden by land or opposed to public policy.]
[25. Amount of compensation awarded by court not to be lower than the amount awarded by the Collector. — The amount of compensation awarded by the court shall not be less than the amount awarded by the Collector under Section 11.]
It is settled law that the award made by the Collector is an offer made by him on behalf of the government and the state is bound by the offer. While on reference under Section 18 or on appeal against the enhanced compensation under Section 54, the Court cannot reduce the compensation less than the offer made by the Collector. (Ram Pirari & Anr. v. Land Acquisition Collector, Solan, JT 1996(3) S.C. 758)
- Form of awards. —(1) Every award under this Part shall be in writing signed by the Judge, and shall specify the amount awarded under clause first of sub-section (1) of Section 23, and also the amounts (if any) respectively awarded under each of the other clauses of the same sub-section, together with the grounds of awarding each of the said amounts.
(2) Every such award shall be deemed to be a decree and the statement of the grounds of every such award a judgment within the meaning of Section 2, clause (2) and Section 2, clause (9), respectively, of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
- Costs. —(1) Every such award shall also state the amount of costs incurred in the proceedings, under this Part, and by what persons and in what proportions they are to be paid.
(2) When the award of the Collector is not upheld, the costs shall ordinarily be paid by the Collector, unless the Court shall be of opinion that the claim of the applicant was so extravagant or that he was so negligent in putting his case before the Collector that some deduction from his costs should be made or that he should pay a part of the Collector’s costs.
- Collector may be directed to pay interest on excess compensation. —If the sum which, in the opinion of the court, the Collector ought to have awarded as compensation is in excess of the sum which the Collector did award as compensation, the award of the Court may direct that the Collector shall pay interest on such excess at the rate of [nine per centum] per annum from the date on which he took possession of the land to the date of payment of such excess into court.
[Provided that the award of the Court may also direct that where such excess or any part thereof is paid into Court after the date of expiry of a period of one year from the date on which possession is taken, interest at the rate of fifteen per centum per annum shall be payable from the date of expiry of the said period of one year on the amount of such excess or part thereof which has not been paid into Court before the date of such expiry.]
Where the possession of land is taken long before initiating proceedings for acquisition, the liability to pay interest and rate arises from the date when owner is deprived of possession and not from the date Collector becomes entitled to take possession under Section 16 (Land Acquisition Collector, PWD v. Jeet Ram, AIR 1987 H.P. 71)
[28A. Re-determination of the amount of compensation on the basis of the award of the Court. — (1) Where in an award under this Part, the Court allows to the applicant any amount of compensation in excess of the amount awarded by the Collector under Section 11, the persons interested in all the other land covered by the same notification under Section 4, sub-section (1) and who are also aggrieved by the award of the Collector within three months from the date of the application to the Collector require that the amount of compensation payable to them may be re-determined on the basis of the amount of compensation awarded by the Court:
Provided that in computing the period of three months within which an application to the Collector shall be made under this sub-section, the day on which the award was pronounced and the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the award shall be excluded.
(2) The Collector shall, on receipt of an application under sub-section (1), conduct an inquiry after giving notice to all the persons interested and giving them a reasonable opportunity of being heard, and make an award determining the amount of compensation payable to the applicants.
(3) Any person who has not accepted the award under sub-section (2) may, by written application to the Collector, require that the matter be referred by the Collector for the determination of the Court and the provisions of Sections 18 to 28 shall, so far as may be, apply to such reference as they apply to reference under Section 18.]
APPORTIONMENT OF COMPENSATION
- Particulars of apportionment to be specified. —Where there are several persons interested, if such persons agree in the apportionment of the compensation, the particulars of such apportionment shall be specified in the award, and as between such persons the award shall be conclusive evidence of the correctness of the apportionment.
- Dispute as to apportionment. —When the amount of compensation has been settled under Section 11, if any dispute arises as to the apportionment of the same or any part thereof, or as to the persons to whom the same or any part thereof, is payable, the Collector may refer such dispute to the decision of the court.
- Payment of compensation or deposit of same in Court. —(1) On making an award under Section 11, the Collector shall tender payment of the compensation awarded by him to the persons interested entitled thereto according to the award, and shall pay it to them unless prevented by some one or more of the contingencies mentioned in the next sub-section.
(2) If they shall not consent to receive it, or if there be no person competent to alienate the land, or if there be any dispute as to the title to receive the compensation or as to the apportionment of it, the Collector shall deposit the amount of the compensation in the court to which a reference under Section 18 would be submitted:
Provided that any person admitted to be interested may receive such payment under protest as to the sufficiency of the amount:
Provided also that no person who has received the amount otherwise than under protest shall be entitled to make any application under Section 18:
Provided also that nothing herein contained shall affect the liability of any person, who may receive the whole or any part of any compensation awarded under this Act, to pay the same to the person lawfully entitled thereto.
(3) Notwithstanding anything in this section, the Collector may, with the sanction of appropriate Government instead of awarding a money compensation in respect of any land, make any arrangement with a person having a limited interest in such land, either by the grant of other lands in exchange, the remission of land revenue on other lands held under the same title, or in such other way as may be equitable having regard to the interest of the parties concerned.
(4) Nothing in the last foregoing sub-section shall be construed to interfere with or limit the power of the Collector to enter into any arrangement with any person interested in the land and competent to contract in respect thereof.
- Investment of money deposited in respect of lands belonging to persons incompetent to alienate. —(1) If any money shall be deposited in Court under sub-section (2) of the last preceding section and it appears that the land in respect whereof the same was awarded belonged to any person who had no power to alienate the same, the Court shall —
(a) order the money to be invested in the purchase of other lands to be held under the like title and conditions of ownership as the land in respect of which such money shall have been deposited, was held, or
(b) if such purchase cannot be effected forthwith, then in such Government or other approved securities as the Court shall think fit;
and shall direct the payment of the interest or other proceedings arising from such investment to the person or persons who would for the time being have been entitled to the possession of the said land, and such moneys shall remain so deposited and invested until the same be applied, —
(i) in the purchase of such other lands as aforesaid; or
(ii) in payment to any person or persons becoming absolutely entitled thereto.
(2) In all cases of moneys deposited to which this section applies, the Court shall order the costs of the following matters, including therein all reasonable charges and expenses incidental thereto, to be paid by the Collector, namely, —
(a) the costs of such investments as aforesaid;
(b) the costs of the orders for the payment of the interest or other proceeds, of the securities upon which such moneys are for the time being invested, and for the payment out of Court of the principal of such moneys, and of all proceedings relating thereto, except such as may be occasioned by litigation between adverse claimants.
- Investment of money deposited in other cases. —When any money shall have been deposited in Court under this Act for any cause other than that mentioned in the last preceding section, the Court may, on the application of any party interested or claiming an interest in such money, order the same to be invested in such Government or other approved securities as it may think proper, and may direct the interest or other proceeds of any such investment to be accumulated and paid in such manner as it may consider will give the parties interested therein the same benefit therefrom as they might have had from the land in respect whereof such money shall have been deposited or as near thereto as may be.
- Payment of interest. —When the amount of such compensation is not paid or deposited on or before taking possession of the land, the Collector shall pay the amount awarded with interest thereon at the rate of [nine per centum] per annum from the time of so taking possession until it shall have been so paid or deposited.
[Provided that if such compensation or any part thereof is not paid or deposited within a period of one year from the date on which possession is taken, interest at the rate of fifteen per centum per annum shall be payable from the date of expiry of the said period of one year on the amount of compensation or part thereof which has not been paid or deposited before the date of such expiry”.]