Can government make road on my ancestral land against my wish?
The government wants to make a route that goes through my ancestral land. This property of mine has been registered under my name since 1948. As it is an agricultural land, I have also paid tax for the same.
Now the government wants to make a road that passes from this land. I have all the papers, the registry and the receipts for the tax that I have paid for this land. What can I now do?
Under the powers of eminent domain, the Government has to power to acquire any land for development purposes and you can only claim the present value of the land as compensation.
However, with respect to agricultural land:
The Supreme court called for strict interpretation of the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 that stipulates that good agricultural land -- “any land which, considering the level of agricultural production and crop pattern in the area in which it is situated, is of average productivity and includes garden or grove land” it said -- cannot be acquired for the setting up of factories or any other corporate enterprise.
The Bench said: “When the State intends to proceed with the acquisition of land, it must form an opinion that lands which are going to be acquired are not good agricultural lands. The rules, by and large, lay down a statutory policy and the question of ignoring it by the State does not arise.”
Where the land proposed to be acquired is agricultural land, the court put the onus on the collector to consult the senior agricultural officer of the district to ascertain whether it is “good agricultural land” or not. After doing this, the collector has also to ascertain the approximate amount of compensation likely to be paid for the land, and also whether the company offered a reasonable price, the court said.
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