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The State Government might find it extremely difficult to circumvent the UPA-enacted central land  acquisition act if the case of Tamil Nadu (TN) is any indication.  
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), a constitutional body, has recommended denial of Presidential assent to TN Government’s move to water down the enforcement of The right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilition and resettlement Act, 2013 (RFCT-LARR Act) in the State. 
In April 2014, The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs had sought NCST’s comments on The right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilition and resettlement (tamil nadu amendment) bill 2014 passed by the TN Assembly in February. The proposed enactment was later submitted to the President for his consideration and approval.
This initiative was taken following a letter from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to six ministries asking them to reply as to whether the TN Bill is constitutionally valid or whether it conflicts with an existing Central Law. MHA also asked whether the proposed bill deviated from the existing national policy to its detriment.  
TN Bill seeks to amend the the Central law to pave the way for continued acquistiion of land under three existng State laws. These are: The Tamil Nadu Acquistion of Land for Harijan Welfare Schemes Act, 1978; The Tamil Nadu Acquistion of Land for Industrial Purposes Act, 1997 and The Tamil Nadu Highways Act, 2001.
In its letter to the Centre forwarding the bill, TN Government disclosed that these laws specifed different procedure for acquistion of land and did not contain any provision for rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) of persons affected by land acquistions.  
The TN laws are thus completely out of sync with RFCT-LARR Act that has  stringent provisions for acquistion of land, compensation and R&R of persons affected by land acquistion. 
At its meeting held on 22nd May, NCST noted that three TN laws do not contain any provision relating to R&R. This deficiency goes against the spirit of the section 105(3) of RFCT-LARR Act. 
NCST obseved: “it is evident these (TN) Acts cover most of the gorunds for which acquistion takes place and therefore effectively undermine the Central Act iself. The Commission therefore did approve for giving asset by the President to above mentioned State Bill for amendment of the Central Act.”
 
You are here: Home Law NCST throws spanner in Amma’s soft land acquisition legislation