Exceptions for not paying compensation for compulsory acquisition of land
Q. The 44th Amendment Act (1978) has abolished the constitutional obligation to pay compensation in regard to the compulsory acquisition of private property by the governments except in case of -- Published on 16 Mar 17
a. When the government acquires the property of tribals
b. When the government acquires the property of a minority religious institution
c. When the government acquires the property of a minority educational institution
d. None of the above
ANSWER: When the government acquires the property of a minority educational institution
- Articles 294 to 300 in Part XII of the constitution deal with the property, contracts, rights, liabilities, obligations and suits of the Union and the states.
- In this regard, the constitution makes the Union or the states as juristic (legal) persons.
- The Parliament as well as the State Legislatures are empowered to make laws for the compulsory acquisition and requisitioning of private property by the governments.
The 44th Amendment Act (1978) has also abolished the constitutional obligation to pay compensation in this regard except in two cases -
1. when the government acquires the property of a minority educational institution; and
2. when the government acquires the land held by a person under his personal cultivation and the land is within the statutory ceiling limits.
- The Union or a state can acquire, hold and dispose property under the exercise of its executive power.
- The executive power of the Union or a state extends to the carrying on any trade or business within and in other states also.
- All property and assets that were vested in the Dominion of India or a province or an Indian princely state, before the commencement of the present constitution, became vested in the Union or the corresponding state.
- Similarly, all rights, liabilities and obligations of the government of the dominion of India or a province or an Indian state would now be the rights, liabilities and obligations of the Government of India or the corresponding state.
- Any property in India that would have accrued to King of England or ruler of Indian state (princely)by escheat (death of a person intestate without any heir), lapse (termination of rights through disuse or failure to follow appropriate procedures) or bona vacantia (property found without any owner)for want of a rightful owner, would now vest in the state if the property is situated there, and in the Union, in any other case.
- In all these three cases, the property accrues to the government as there is no rightful owner (claimant).
- All lands, minerals and other things of value under the waters of the ocean within the territorial waters of India, the continental shelf of India and the exclusive economic zone of India vests in the Union.
- Hence, a state near the ocean cannot claim jurisdiction over these things.
- India’s territorial waters extend to a distance of 12 nautical miles from the appropriate base line.
- Similarly, India’s exclusive economic zone extends upto 200 nautical miles.