Thursday 18 September 2014

Rajasthan Land Acquisition Bill 2014 stalled for now: Sent to the select committee of the Vidhan Sabha

The much criticised by people and civil society organisations and much appreciated by the corporates and corporate friendly media, the Rajasthan Land Acquisition Bill 2014 could not be passed in the special session of the Vidhan Sabha called to ratify the Judicial Appointments Bill. Perhaps the opposition to the proposed Land Acquisition Bill from most quarters of the state compelled the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) government in Rajasthan to refer the Bill to the select committee of the Vidhan Sabha. Now the fate of the Bill will be decided after the report of the select committee. 

The Rajasthan Land Acquisition BIll 2014 (pdf) has been brought by the BJP government in the state "to provide for, and expedite the process of, land acquisition for public purposes", excluding most of the positive provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013, passed by the Indian Parliament, last year. The proposed Rajasthan Bill ignores the provisions like Rehabilitation & Resettlement, Social Impact Assessment, and crucial roles of gram sabhas, gram panchayats and urban local bodies. 'Acquisition and reacquisition of property' being part of the concurrent list of the Constitution, the state government can make a law on the subject, which will be applicable in the state only after receiving assent of the President of India.

Outside the Vidhan Sabha there was a big protest by the farmers and civil society organisations led by Megha Patekar of Narmada Bachao Andolan and Amra Ram of Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Sabha against the proposed Bill. Protesters demanded scrapping of the proposed Bill. 


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