Impact of Ordinance Dated 31.12.2014 Passed By The President Of India On Electricity Act 2003
The present government has moved an ordinance before the President of India to amend The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013. The aim to move the ordinance is to legally avoid major lengthy steps to acquire the land for the enactments mentioned in the Fourth Schedule of the Act. The Fourth Schedule includes 13 enactments in which Electricity Act 2003 is also the part. The Fourth Schedule in the present Land Acquisition Act 2013 is created and formulated under Section 105 of Land Acquisition Act.
In this article we would discuss that how the Electricity Act is impacted by the ordinance and changes in Land Acquisition Act 2013.
In India, we need to follow The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 to acquire the land for any purpose mentioned in the Electricity Act. Earlier the Land Acquisition Act 1894, now repealed was used to acquire the land from citizens of India for the purpose mentioned in Electricity Act.In comparison to old law, the acquisition of land becomes more tough and lengthy in the new law.
The new Act which came into force with effect from January 1, 2014 states that the Appropriate Government can only acquire the Land if the government has completed the procedure of Social Impact Assessment report.No doubt, the procedure to acquire the land by the government under the ‘New Land acquisition Act 2013’ is itself time consuming and not practically viable if it is looked from the point of view of infrastructural Development. The first step to acquire the land under the New Act – The government needs to notify its intention to the Local Panchayat, Municipality or Municipal Corporation at village level or ward leveland also to District Magistrate, Tehsildar, Sub Divisional Magistrate in the affected area and carry out the Social Impact Assessment Study (SIA).The people who are involved for the study of SIAwill study the several aspects of acquisition of land like the acquisition serves public purpose or not and other aspects related to rehabilitation and resettlement. The SIA study is required to be completed within 6 months and the same is the responsibility of government. Besides, SIA there are provisions under the New Land Acquisition Act 2013 which states the affirmation of 80% of affected people are required in case the land is acquired for private companies and 70% of affected people in case if the land is acquired for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Projects and this process shall simultaneously work with the SIA study.There are other provisions in the new Act which simultaneously deals with Environmental Impact Study. Thereafter the SIA will be studied by the multi-disciplinary Expert Group. The above mentioned cumbersome procedure is also followed in case if the land is acquired for the purpose of Electricity Act. There are many provisions under the New Land Acquisition Act 2013 which also relates and co-related with SIA study.
However, the condition was stated in section 105 of the New land acquisition act 2013 that the provisions of New Land Acquistion Act 2013 will not apply on the Electricity Act 2003 subject to the condition that the notification is required to be passed by the appropriate government within the period of 1 year from the commencement of the Act. The New Land Acquisition act was commenced on January 1, 2014.
Now, the ordinance passed by the President of India on 31.12.2014 eased the process of acquisition of land for the purpose of the Electricity Act 2003. The ordinance also amended Section 105 of New Land Acquisition Act 2013 which is related with Fourth Schedule. After passing of this ordinance the SIA study section is not applicable for the acquisition of land for the purpose of Electricity Act 2003.
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