M A I N   N E W S

Land Bill gets Cabinet nod
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
The Cabinet today cleared the controversial Land Acquisition Bill, making it mandatory to seek the consent of 80 per cent of affected landowners in case their land is acquired by private players.

The Bill also provides for assent by 70 per cent of affected landowners in case their land is acquired for a public-private partnership (PPP) project. But no consent will be needed if land is acquired by the government for infrastructure projects fully owned and executed by it. Another clause stipulates that if the land acquired remains unutilised for five years, the acquisition will lapse. The government intends to introduce the official amendments to the Bill in the ongoing winter session of the Lok Sabha.

In its original form, The Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Bill provided for consent of not just 80 per cent landowners but also of the dependent farm workers. But the clause was removed following protests from industrial and infrastructure lobbies after which the government constituted a Group of Ministers to again go into the controversial issues.

The GoM later suggested that the consent clause be kept at 67 per cent for both PPP and private projects.

But the proposal for seeking the consent of two-thirds of “land losers” (from whom land will be purchased) for industrial and PPP projects did not find favour with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The Bill was finalised by the Rural Development Ministry after incorporating Sonia’s suggestion requiring the consent of 80 per cent landowners for acquisition.

The new rules will be applied with retrospective effect. The changes also suggest that the new law will be applicable to all ongoing land acquisition proceedings where “no award” has been made under the existing Land Acquisition Act, 1894. It also provides for compensation to land losers and says rehabilitation colonies must have facilities like schools and hospitals. The legislation also has a provision for the return of unutilised land, which the earlier legislation - the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - lacked.









Clause ‘restraining’ judges to stay in judicial Bill

New Delhi, December 13
The government tonight decided to retain a clause in a Bill on judicial standards that debars judges from making verbal comments against any constitutional authority in open courts.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet approved amendments to the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill.

The Bill, already passed by the Lok Sabha, is pending in the Rajya Sabha.

While deciding to retain the controversial clause, it has made some changes in it to ensure it “stands the test of Article 14 which deals with equality before law”, sources said. — PTI



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |