Telangana amends land acquisition Bill

Telangana State Assembly in a special one day session convened on sunday passed amendments to the right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement bill 2016.

The State Assembly had passed the Bill in December 2016 and sent it to the Centre for review. The Department of Legal Affairs of the Union Ministry of Law and Justice suggested a few procedural and terminology-related amendments to make the Bill immune to litigation and eligible for presidential assent.

The amendments included the date of effect of the Act from January 1, 2014, provision to not affect any vested rights, ensuring adequate compensation to the land owners in the event of acquisition, and replacement of certain terms used in the Bill.

Telangana state Assembly witnessed noisy scenes as Opposition party members tried to disrupt the proceedings by holding placards highlighting problems of chilli farmers. The members of BJP and TDP were not present as they had been suspended from the House earlier.

The Congress members did not allow an MIM member to speak. Responding to requests from Legislative Affairs Minister T Harish Rao and members of the ruling TRS party, Speaker S Madhusudanachary took up the Bill for passage. Later in the day, it was also passed by the Council.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said Gujarat, Rajasthan and some other states had already enacted their own land acquisition Acts to speed up land acquisition for completing the projects.

The Chief Minister dismissed the Congress’s argument that the state has no right to amend a central Act, pointing out that under Article 254 of the Constitution, the state had a right to pass its own legislation on a subject which is in concurrent list.

He also told the House that the bill was passed on the advice of the Prime Minister and after getting the nod from the central government.

Leader of Opposition congress party K. Jana Reddy argued that the state has no right to amend a central legislation. jana reddy criticised the government for going ahead with the bill without addressing the people’s concerns.

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