Explained: Bench strength, validity of law -- why land acquisition matter is back in Supreme Court -Apurva Vishwanath

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published Published on Oct 15, 2019   modified Modified on Oct 15, 2019
-The Indian Express

The scheduled hearing will decide the legality of several cases of land acquisition that took place across the country before 2009. The matter also raises significant questions on judicial discipline, and how judgments of the court are applied while deciding subsequent cases on similar issues.

On Tuesday, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will begin hearing a case to clarify the interpretation of the law on land acquisition, specifically the provision related to compensation awarded to land owners. Two three-judge Bench rulings delivered by the apex court in 2014 and 2018 on the same issue differed in their interpretations, prompting the court to refer the matter to a larger Bench.

The scheduled hearing will decide the legality of several cases of land acquisition that took place across the country before 2009. The matter also raises significant questions on judicial discipline, and how judgments of the court are applied while deciding subsequent cases on similar issues.

What is the provision of the law in question?

The issue involves Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, which replaced the colonial 1894 land acquisition law.

The provision says that in cases where acquisition proceedings were initiated under the 1894 law and compensation had been determined, the proceedings would lapse if the state did not take possession of the land for five years, and also had not paid compensation to the landowner.

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The Indian Express, 15 October, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/bench-strength-validity-of-law-why-land-acquisition-matter-is-back-in-sc-6069065/


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