Lawmakers asked to remember their moral and legal duties while formulating the policy

The former Chief Justice of India S. Rajendra Babu has said that lawmakers should remind themselves of their moral and legal duties while formulating the land acquisition policy.

He was speaking at a seminar on “Right to Life and the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Bill 2011” organised by the Karnataka (India) Section of the International Commission of Jurists (KS-ICJ) in Bangalore on Saturday.

Mr. Rajendra Babu said that as land acquisition affects several generations of families involved, more debate on the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Bill is necessary. He underlined the need to remove the imbalances in the system of land acquisition.

Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Vikramajit Senointed out that computation of compensation is the core litigated issue as it [compensation] is calculated based on the latest or the highest price of the land registered, whereas, in India, actual market value is seldom reflected in the land sale deeds.

Referring to the huge compensation, though not the market value, paid to the people in Noida, Gurgaon and other places around New Delhi, he alleged that there was an increase in instances of drug abuse and violence in those places. He alleged that those who had received compensation for their acquired land indulged in erratic spending because they could not manage such huge sums for lack of education, and they were only engaged in farm activities.

He stressed on the need for deliberation on the bar on acquisition of only multi-cropped land, clarity on reference made in the Bill about “partial” acquisition in favour of private firms, etc.

S.S. Naganand, president of the KS-ICJ, spoke.

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