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Govt to issue norms for ‘retrospective clause’ in Land Act | The Indian Express

Related. To clarify doubts about the contentious ‘retrospective clause’ in the new Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and prevent possible abuse, the government is set to issue clarifications in the form of an advisory, based on opinion of Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran. The Act was passed by Parliament last year and was notified on January 1 this year. Under the new Act, the retrospective clause would apply to any acquisition where no awards have been made or where awards have been made five years or more before commencement of the new Act but no compensation has been paid or possession taken. According to officials of the Ministry of Rural Development, it was felt this section of the Act could be misused and hence clarity was needed on its operation and interpretation. For this, the ministry sought Parasaran’s opinion based on which it is in the process of issuing an advisory. According to the draft advisory, retrospective operation of the Act would have deemed to have come into effect from the day the Act came into force, January 1. Further, ‘physical possession’ would have been considered to have been taken when land acquired had been “physically demarcated and effective physical and absolute control taken within five years of the award.” In terms of interpretation of the five year period, the ministry clarified that in cases where compensation has not been accepted or physical possession not given for a period less than five years, then the new law will apply only if pendency continues unchanged for five or more years. Further, in cases where compensation has not been paid or possession not taken because the acquisition process has been challenged in court, then the period spent under litigation would also be taken into account to determine the five-year period. Parasaran, in his opinion, however, added the ministry should clarify that this would apply only in cases where awards have been passed under the old Act five or more years before January 1, 2014.
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