Calls for tenders (NIT) issued when the land was not even acquired?

By on August 6, 2021 0

Recently, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir rendered a landmark judgment preventing the Ganderbal District administration from acquiring land for the widening and improvement of the Pandach-Beehama-Ganderbal road. Ironically, the executing agency, PWD (R&B), about 4 years ago, had issued a tender (NIT) for this road project when the land had not yet been acquired through a proper process. under the old J&K Land Acquisition Act of 1934. After the tender Ganderbal, then land acquisition collector, issued a section 4 notice and no further notice was issued .

The J&K High Court Division Bench led by Chief Justice Pankaj Mittal and Judge Sanjay Dhar on 7/28/2021 said no statement had been made under Section 6 of the J&K Land Acquisition Act 1934 (now repealed), the notice issued under section 4 is simply a proposal to acquire the land. The order reads as follows:

“It is true that to date, there is no declaration under article 6 of the law in order to definitively acquire the aforementioned land. The notification under article 4 of the law is simply a proposal to acquire the land and since the land has not yet been definitively acquired, we are of the opinion that the brief request is premature and is not not sustainable at this stage.

The High Court division bench ruled on the petition and asked the respondents (the government) to proceed according to the law if they needed the land for the road widening project.

The High Court order further reads:

“Accordingly, the motion in brief is disposed with a freedom to the respondents to proceed according to the law, if necessary, to acquire the land while leaving the applicants the possibility of contesting the acquisition procedure as the notification progresses. final to acquire the land. is issued by the respondents. It is clarified that, as the land has not been definitively acquired, the ownership / title to the land has not been transferred to the respondents and the applicants are free to use it in any way they wish. 5. The motion in brief is therefore settled ”

Relevantly, if the new notification for land acquisition is to be issued, it should be done in accordance with the law on the right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement (RFCTLARR Law 2013) which is applicable in the repeal of article 370 of J&K. This law is one of the few laws that could have benefited the people of J&K, but the government is accused by farmers of failing to apply this law in many land acquisition cases. In fact, the injured Abdul Rahim Bhat and others went to the High Court with the same prayer.

The Collector land acquisition Ganderbal cannot issue a section 6 notification under the J&K Land Acquisition Act of 1934, as it is no longer in force after the repeal of section 370. Henceforth, a new notification is to be issued under the Right to Fair Compensation Act only, which is applied to J&K as of October 31, 2019.

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