Property Law Videos - Land acquisition by government : Is it legal?


Land acquisition in India is governed by the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (LARR) and which came into force on 1 January 2014. The process for land acquisition according to (LAAR) involves a Social Impact Assessment survey, a preliminary notification stating the intent for acquisition, a declaration of acquisition, and compensation to be given by a certain time.  All acquisitions require rehabilitation and resettlement to be provided to the people affected by the acquisition. Compensation for the owners of the acquired land shall be four times the market value in case of rural areas and twice in case of urban areas.

The 2013 Act focuses on providing not only compensation to the land owners, but also extend rehabilitation and resettlement benefits to livelihood looser from the land, which shall be in addition to the minimum compensation. The minimum compensation to be paid to the land owners is based on a multiple of market value and other factors laid down in the Act. The Act forbids or regulates land acquisition when such acquisition would include multi-crop irrigated area. The Act changed the norms for the acquisition of land for use by private companies or in the case of public-private partnerships, including compulsory approval of 80% of the landowners.

As per the Act, the union or state governments can acquire lands for its own use, hold and control, including for public sector undertakings and for "public purpose", and shall include the following purposes:
•for strategic purposes relating to naval, military, air force, and armed forces of the Union, including Central paramilitary forces or any work vital to national security or defense of India or State police, the safety of the people;
•for infrastructure projects as defined under the Act;
•project for project affected families;
•project for housing for such income groups, as may be specified from time to time by the appropriate Government;
•project for planned development or the improvement of village sites or any site in the urban areas or provision of land for residential purposes for the weaker sections in rural and urban areas;
•project 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 the Government, any local authority or a corporation owned or controlled by the State.