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“No litigation” incentive not a fair idea

The latest Relief and Rehabilitation Policy announced with much fanfare by the Haryana Chief Minister on the eve of Divali introduces a novel concept (news report, “Haryana doubles floor rates”, Nov 4). “No litigation” incentive is for those landowners whose land is acquired wherein they would be eligible for an additional amount equal to 20 per cent of the basic rate of land determined by the Land Acquisition Collector in case they undertake not to challenge the compensation amount as awarded to them.

The landowner opting to avail of this incentive would have to submit an undertaking to the effect that he accepts the compensation amount as awarded and after that he would not be entitled to approach a court against inadequacy of amount. The intention of the state government behind this concept is to curb unnecessary and avoidable litigations arising out of compensations relating to land acquisitions.

However, the point is any incentive of such kind, howsoever high, which prohibits an affected person from invoking jurisdiction of the court in respect of his legal rights is bad in law. Section 28 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, the legislation which governs all kinds of agreements, provides that every agreement by which a party is restricted absolutely from enforcing his rights by the usual legal proceedings is void.

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Of course, the exercise of acceptance of “no-litigation” incentive is purely optional and one is not bound to accept it merely because it is offered by state. Considering the fact that a vast majority of those persons whose land is acquired are poor peasants who are not so qualified and do not fully understand the legal consequences of this initiative, it would not be unfair to comment that this scheme keeps the state government in a dominant position vis-a-vis the owner whose land is acquired. 

It is probable that those who approach the court instead of accepting the introduced incentive might succeed in getting more amount of compensation after judicial determination. Hence, those deprived owing to acceptance of this incentive would be at the receiving end. At a time when a lot of hue and cry is being witnessed in almost every nook and corner of the country wherever there is compulsory acquisition of land by the state not for public purpose but for handing it over to private entrepreneurs, introduction of a no-litigation incentive is clearly unwarranted and uncalled for.


Manpreet’s rally

The editorial “No longer a lone ranger: Manpreet caravan rolls on” (Nov 16) and the news report a day earlier have presented seemingly two different points of view.

However, the news report calling Mr Manpreet Badal’s ideas “utopian” and thus unachievable holds much ground. For, making tall claims without having resources and a proper environment to achieve them is like befooling oneself.

Mr Manpreet Badal would neither be benefited by nor can be credited for holding this ‘mammoth’ rally as it is a well-known fact that these days political rallies, having no mass wave, are organised on payment by professional event managers.

 BALVINDER, Chandigargh

Corruption virus

India is a big democratic country but corruption has spread at the higher levels like a wildfire. Recent news of corruption include the 2G scam, sacking of Congress bigwigs Suresh Kalmadi and Ashok Chavan, the CBI nabbing two ex-CWG officials and unauthorised building collapse.

All are indications of an unhealthy environment and speaks volumes about our governance. The UPA Government must curb this menace of corruption. The guilty must be brought to book and punished as per law.


Obama’s visit

Raj Chengappa’s column Ground Zero “Yeh dosti hum nahin todengey” (Nov 10) gave an in-depth insight into the US President Barack Obama’s recent trip to India. Mr Obama and his wife Michelle Obama struck an instant rapport with the people wherever they went, thanks to Obama’s oratorical skill and his wife’s charm.

Mr Obama’s use of Hindi words like namaste, dhanyavaad, Jai Hind, etc, would echo in the public mind for a long time to come. The trip would help strengthen Indo-US ties and augurs well for both countries,

TARA CHAND, Ambota, Una


Mr Barack Obama’s statement was only a political compulsion and not likely to be of any use to India. He seems to be neutral and never reprimanded Pakistan for creating tension on borders. But then even our old friend Russia never told Pakistan to keep off the Kashmir issue or held it responsible for the 26/11 attacks.

Besides, Mr Obama has only supported India’s demand for a permanent UN Security Council seat but never said India must be taken on the Security Council. The visit of Mr Obama may be friendly but did not offer anything concrete.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

Attract more officers

The editorial “IPS losing its charm: Centre must fill vacancies urgently” (Nov 16) raises serious issues pertaining to maintaining law and order. Adequate police force is required. Officers must be professionally competent and efficient persons capable of leading in adverse situations. The qualitative standards should not be lowered to fill the vacancies in view of sensitive responsibilities entrusted to the police.

Highly trained police officers of proven performance from states may be taken on deputation to make up for the immediate shortfall. Pay, perks, incentives and job conditions should be made more attractive to invite promising youth to join challenging police services. This will help in enforcing the rule of law and safeguarding the interests of peace-loving citizens.

S C VAID, Greater Noida



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