India: Update On Land Acquisition Laws In India

Last Updated: 2 October 2013
Article by Madhu


Rapid urbanization and industrial growth in almost all major cities has forced government to acquire land for executing infrastructure projects. Due to inadequacy of proper legal regime on compensation and rehabilitation part, such land acquisitions has faced a considerable opposition from landowners and farmers, which finally resulted in delayed execution of projects.

Striking a harmonious balance between the interest of landowners and industrialization growth of country is the need of the day, which Land acquisition Act, 1984 was failed to address. Considering the scenario, two bills "The Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2007 and "The Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2007" were introduced in Lok Sabha in 2007, but got lapsed on dissolution of 14th Lok Sabha.

Again on 7th September 2011, "The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011" was introduced in Lok Sabha, which was finally approved by Indian Parliament on 5th September 2013 with some amendments under the name of "The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2013" (hereinafter referred to as "Land Acquisition Bill"/"The Bill").

Land Acquisition Bill aims to provide a central legislation for families affected by land acquisition. The bill will repeal and replace age old Land Acquisition Act, 1984.

Main aim of the enactments is to ensure and adopt humane, participatory informed consultative and transparent process for land acquisition for industrialization and urbanization with the least disturbance to the owners of the land and other affected families; and to provide just and fair compensation to the affected families. The bill further seeks to ensure that the cumulative outcome of compulsory acquisition should be that affected persons become partners in development. The Bill seeks to provide for:

  • Land acquisition process
  • Rights of people displaced by acquisition
  • Method of calculating compensation
  • Requirement of rehabilitation & resettlement,

Land Acquisition Bill aims to be a central legislation, and will apply to all the land acquisition done by central government/ state government except Jammu & Kashmir:

Highlights of the Bill

Major Highlights of the Bill are discussed hereunder:


As specified earlier also, the bill is a central legislation and will apply to all land acquisitions done by government (both Central and State Government) except Jammu & Kashmir in following public purpose:

  • Strategic purposes relating to naval, military, air force, and armed forces, any work vital to national security or defence of India or State police, safety of the people;
  • For infrastructure projects including agroprocessing, warehousing, cold storage facilities, marketing infrastructure for agriculture and allied activities such as dairy, fisheries, and meat processing, industrial corridors or mining activities, national investment and manufacturing zones, water harvesting and water conservation structures, sanitation, Government aided educational and research schemes or institutions, Project for sports, heath care, tourism, transportation of space programme;
  • Project for project affected families;
  • Project for housing,
  • Project for planned development or the improvement of village sites or any site in the urban areas or provision of land for residential purposes for the weaker sections;
  • Project for residential purposes to the poor or landless or to persons residing in areas affected by natural calamities

Provision of Bill will apply when government acquires land for

  • Public private partnership projects, where the ownership of the land continues to vest with the government, for public purpose
  • Private companies for public purpose

Consent of Project Affected people for land acquisition

The bill makes mandatory provision for obtaining consent of atleast 80% project affected families in case of acquisition for private companies and consent of 70% project affected families in case of acquisition for public private partnership projects.

This clearly specifies that when the government acquires land directly for declared public purpose, consent of project affected people is not required but when land is acquired for public private partnership project or for private company for production of public goods/ services, consent of 70%/80% project affected people is required to be obtained.

Further land transfer laws applicable in schedules areas shall be complied with before acquiring land in scheduled areas.

The bill provides that provision for rehabilitation and resettlement shall be made when private company acquires land exceeding the limit proscribed by government through private negotiations or private company requests government for partial acquisition of land for public purpose.

Provisions for compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement has been made for landowners, whose land is proposed to be acquired and landless also, whose livelihood is likely to be affected by the said acquisition such as agricultural labourers, tenants, fisherman, hunters, boatmen etc.

Social Impact Assessment Study

Before acquiring land, the Government shall carry out social impact assessment study in consultation with Gram Sabha or equivalent authority in affected area covering following:

  • Nature of public interest involved
  • Estimation of affected families
  • Study of socio economic impact upon families residing in affected area
  • Extent of land, public , private houses, other common properties likely to be affected by such proposed acquisition;
  • Whether land acquisition at alternate place has been considered and was found not feasible
  • Study of social impact from project, nature & cost of addressing them, including environmental cost.

The bill imposes a duty on government to ensure Social Impact Assessment study shall be completed within 6 months from the date of commencement.

Bill also makes provision for open public hearing by the Government, widely publication of social impact assessment report and evaluation of report by independent multi disciplinary expert group appointed by government. If the Expert group is of opinion that project does not serve stated public purpose, or not in public interest at large or cost and other adverse impact will outweigh potential benefits, it shall make recommendation that project shall be abandoned immediately and no further steps will be initiated to acquire land.

Appraisal of Social Impact Assessment Study by expert Group

Social Impact Assessment Study shall be evaluated by an expert group constituted by government. Expert group shall make recommendation within 2 months from the date of its constitution.

The committee shall ensure that

  • There is legitimate & bona fide public purpose for proposed acquisition;
  • The said public purpose is on balance of convenience & in long run, will serve large public interest;
  • Only the minimum area of land required for project is proposed to be acquired;
  • There is no unutilized land, which has been previously acquired in the area.

Central government shall consider evaluation report of expert group before taking decision for acquisition of land.

Further Government may exempt social impact assessment study in case of urgency.

Restriction on acquisition of irrigated Land

Government shall not acquire irrigated multi cropped land. Such land may be acquired only in exceptional circumstances, but acquisition of irrigated land in aggregate for all projects in a district, shall not exceed the limit prescribed by government. Further, whenever irrigated land is acquired, an equivalent cultable wasteland shall be developed for agriculture purpose. Further linear projects such as railways, highways, road, and irrigation projects are exempt from these said restrictions.

For acquiring any land, government shall issue primary notification within 12 months from the date of social impact assessment report, other the same shall be treated as lapsed and a fresh social impact assessment report shall be required.

Rehabilitation & Resettlement

On publication of primary notification, administrator shall conduct a survey and prepare a rehabilitation and resettlement for project affected families. After public hearing, collector shall publish the Rehabilitation & resettlement scheme and government within 12 months from the date of preliminary notification shall public declaration for acquisition of land.

Special provision for Schedules Castes and Scheduled Tribes

Government shall not acquire any land in Scheduled area. In case of acquisition in scheduled area, prior consent of gram sabha shall be obtained.


Minimum compensation package shall constitute of following:

  1. Market value of the land shall be the minimum land value, as specified in Indian Stamp Act, 1899 or average sale price of similar land situated in nearest areas, or consented compensation as agreed in case of acquisition of land for private companies or for public private partnership whichever is higher. Market value of land situated in rural areas shall be multiplied by factor of two;
  2. Value of assets attached to land or building as determined by collector;
  3. Solatium, equal to 100% of total compensation;
  4. The Company for whom land is being acquired may offer its shares upto 25% of the Compensation amount. In case the project affected family wishes to avail of this offer, an equivalent amount will be deducted from the land acquisition compensation package payable to it.

There is always a better compensation

  • Where any state law or state policy provides better & higher compensation than this act, affected person may avail such higher compensation, rehabilitation & resettlement under such state policy.
  • When any land acquired under this act remains unutilized for a period of five years from the date of taking possession, the same shall be returned to land owners or land bank of appropriate government.
  • When ownership of any land acquired under this act is transferred to any person for a consideration without any development having taken place on such land, 40% of appreciated land value shall be shared amongst from whom the land was acquired.
  • Provision of this Act shall not apply in case of obtaining land on lease.
  • Prior approval of government is required for change in ownership of acquired land.
  • Any award or agreement made under this act shall be exempt from income tax, stamp duty.

Procedural Timelines

Estimated timelines for acquisition of land as prescribed in the bill are discussed hereunder:


Land Acquisition Bill, no doubt has made an attempt to strike a balance between the interest of farmers and industrialists by giving a fair share to the landowners and making them partner in the growth history of India, but at the same time, it has also raised a wave of concern for the industries such as increased price for acquisition, excessive government intervention, which may actually slow down the acquisition process and might cause further delay in setting up important projects. By adopting an open minded, innovative, consultative and humanistic approach and making stakeholder a partner, all issues/ concerns can be solved easily, ultimately it's only the "approach to tackle the situations", which matters.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions