Land Acquisition Ordinance 2014

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act, 2013 was enacted by the Parliament after a long struggle by various peoples movements based on the experience of forcible, unfair & unjust land acquisition under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The Act 2013 was passed on 29 August 2013 in the Lok Sabha and on 4 September 2013 in Rajya Sabha. The bill received the assent of the President of India on 27 September 2013. The Act came into force from 1 January 2014. The new Government reported that many difficulties are being faced in its implementation and in order to remove them, the Government passed an urgent executive order in December 2014. This executive order which is called �Ordinance� is an emergency measure that has to be passed in the ongoing parliamentary session. The power to pass an ordinance is part of India�s constitution and is meant to be reserved for emergencies when Parliament is not in session. Officially, it�s the President of India who promulgates such temporary laws, on the advice of the government. The legislation stands for six weeks from the start of the next Parliament. If it isn�t voted onto the permanent statute within that time, the ordinance lapses but can be reissued. Keeping in view the legal requirement of ordnance, Modi government tabled the land acquisition ordinance in the Lok Sabha on 24th February 2015 The major points of difference from the 2013 Act to 2014 ordinance are as follows:

Provisions 2013 Act 2014 Ordinance
Consent for projects For private project, 80% affected families must agree. For PPP project, 70% affected families must agree. Only then land can be acquired. No consent is required for following five category of projects:
  • Defence
  • Affordable housing
  • Industrial Corridor
  • Infrastructure project including PPP projects where the central govt. own lands
Social Impact Assessment Mandatory for all kinds of projects except for irrigation projects. No requirement for above mentioned five category of projects, which indirectly means every kind of projects.
Acquisition of Multi Crop Land to safeguard food security Restrictions on acquisition of fertile land No restrictions on acquisition of fertile land
Public Purpose Provisions of land acquisition shall apply for infrastructure facilities for public purpose except private hospitals, private educational institutions and private hotels. Govt. can acquire land for private hospitals, private educational institutions and private hotels.
Acquisition for private projects Only for Companies registered under the Section 3 of Companies Act, 1956 Acquisition for any private entity now. Expanded definition of private company includes all kind of private entities like proprietorship, partnership, corporation and non profit.
Action against erring officials If offence committed by any person employed by any government the head of the department will be held guilty and liable to proceeding and punishment. Unless it is proved that some particular officer has committed the offense. If offence committed then officers not to be prosecuted without previous sanction of the government.
Return of Unutilised land If land acquired under it remained unutilised for five years, it is to be returned to the original owners, their legal heirs or the land bank. Five years restriction removed. And it is extended until any period specified at the time of setting up the project, or five years, whichever is later.
  • 4 times the market rate in rural area.
  • 2 times in urban area.
Remains the same.

  Similar to the above ordinance, the �Enclosure Acts� were passed in England when Industrial Revolution began in England. Majority of these Acts were passed between 1750 and 1860. The Enclosure Acts were a series of United Kingdom Acts of Parliament which enclosed open fields and common land in the country, creating legal property rights to land that was previously considered common. Marxist historians have focussed on enclosure as a part of the class conflict that eventually eliminated the English peasantry and saw the emergence of the bourgeoisie. Like Enclosure Acts, the above mentioned Ordinance is an attempt to open up the land that is the life support, source of livelihood and shelter for India�s toiling masses, to wealthy investors, including big corporations and builders. Its intention is to forcibly divert India�s agricultural land at the cost of food security, giving a free hand with no ceiling to the private companies as well as private entities i.e. private trusts and expensive profit-making educational and health institutions. The intention is to benefit private interests in the name of public interest.