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Preamble – Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894




[Act No. 1 of 1894]1


[2nd February1894]




1. For Statement of Objects and Reasons, see Gazette of India, 1892, Pt. V.p. 31, for Report of the Select Committee, see ibid., 1894, Pt. V. p. 23 and for proceedings in Council, see ibid, 1892. Pt. VI, p. 25 and ibid, 1894, pp. 19, 24 to 42.



This Act has been declared to be in force in the Santhal Parganas by the Santhal Parganas Settlement Regulations, 1872 (3 of 1872), Sec. 3; in the Khondmals District by the Khondmals Laws Regulations, 1936 (4 of 1936), Section 3 and Schedule; and in the Angul District by the Angul Laws Regulations, 1936 (5 of 1936), Sec. 3 and Sch.


It has also been declared by notification under the Schedule Districts Act, 1874 (14 of 1874), to be in force in (1) the Districts of Hazaribagh, Lohardaga (now called the Ranchi District-Calcutta Gazette, 1899, Pt. I, p.44) and Manbhum, and in Pargana. Dhalbhum and the Kolhan in the District of Singhbhum- Gazette of India, 1894; Pt.I, p.639.


This Act has been amended in its application to-


(1) Madras City and its neighbourhood by the Madras City Improvement Trust Act, 1945 (Madras Act 16 of 1945), as re-enacted temporarily up to 29th April, 1949 by the Madras Re-enacting the Repealing (No. 1) Act 7 of 1948);


(2) The Province of Bombay by the Land Acquisition (Bengal Amendment) Act, 1983 (Bombay Act 18 of 1938);


(3) The Province of Bengal by the Land Acquisition (Bengal Amendment) Act, 1934 (Bengal Act 2 of 1934 );


(4) The U.P. Roadside Land Control Act, 1948 (U.P. Act, 10 of 1945) as re-enacted by the U.P. Expiring Laws Continuance Act, 1948 (U.P. Act 13 of 1948);


(5) Cawnpore Urdan Area by the Cawnpore Urban Area Development Act, 1945 (U.P. Act 6 of 1945) as re-enacted by U.P. Act 13 of 1948;


(6) The Province of Bihar by the Bihar Restriction of Usses of Land Act, 1946 (Bihar Act 8 of 1946);


(7) The Central Provinces and Berar Act C.P. and Berar Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1939 (C.P. and Berar Act 27 of 1939);


For modification in this Act to make Provision for the acquisition of land in certain Municipal area, see-


(1) The Calcutta Improvement Act, 191 (Bengal Act 5 of 1911), Sec. 71 and Sch.,


(2) The Calcutta Municipal Act, 1923 (Bengal Act, 1923 (Bengal Act 3 of 1923), Sec. 475,


(3) The City of Bombay Improvement Trust Transfer Act, 1925 (Bombay Act 16 of 1925),


(4) The U.P. Town Improvement Act, 1919 U.P. Act 8 of 1919), Sec. 58 and Sch.,


(5) The Punjab Town Improvement Act, 1922 (Punjab Act 4 of 1922), Sec. 411,


(6) The Darbhanga Improvement Act, 1934 (B& O Act 4 of 1934), Sec. 411,


(7) The C.P. Municipalities Act 1922 (C.P.Act 2 of 1922), Sec. 239 and Sch., and


(8) The Nagpur Improvement Trust Act, 1936 (C.P. Act 36 of 1936), Sec. 61 and Sch.


An Act to amend the law for the acquisition of land for public purposes and for Companies.


Whereas it is expedient to annelid the law for the acquisition of land needed for public purposes and for Companies and for determining the amount of compensation to b
e made on account of such acquisition:


It is hereby enacted as follows: –






1. Published in the Gazette of India, 1892, Pt. V, p. 32.



“For several years past the amendment of the Land Acquisition Act, 1870, has been under consideration by h Government of India in communication with local Governments.


Before the passing of that Act, the valuation of lands, which it was found necessary to take up for the execution of public works, was entirely in the hands of Arbitrators, from whose decision there was no appeal. This system led to a lamentable wast of the public money, both because the arbitrators were incompetent, and sometimes, it is to be feared corrupt, and also because the law, as it then stood, laid down no instructions for their guidance inn the performance of their duties. This latter defect, among others, was remedied by the Act of 1870, which it is now proposed to ament, and which contains detailed instruction as to the matters which are to be considered, and which are to be neglected, in awards of compensation for lands acquired under its precisions. The Act of 1870 also provided for the abolition of the system under which uncontrolled direction was entrusted to Arbitrators; and in lieu thereof, required the Collector when unable to come to terms with the persons interested in land which it was desired to take up, to refer the difference for decision of a Civil Court, usually that of the District Judge. In the disposal of such references, the Court is aided by Assessors, and its finding s final if the Judge and one or more of the Assessors agree. If, however, the Judge and the Assessors disagree, an appeal is allowed, which usually lies to the High Court.


The Act of 1870 has not, in practice, been found entirely effective fir the protection either of the persons interested in lands taken up or of the public purse. The requirement that the Collector shall refer for the decision of the Court every petty difference of opinion as to value, and every case in which any one or perhaps a large number of persons fails to attend before him, has involved in litigation, with all its trouble and was extremely insignificant. It has, in fact, frequently been the case that the owners of small pieces of land have had to pay Court cost to an amount far exceeding the value of the land itself.


On the other hand, the provisions of the Act as to the incidence of costs, the whole of which fall on the Collector if the final award is ever so little in excess of the amount of his tender, are such as to encourage extravagant and speculative claims. The change of altogether escaping the payment of costs is so great, that claimants are in the position of risking very little in order to gain very much and have, therefore, every motive to refuse even liberal offers made by the Collector, and to try their luck by compelling a reference to the Court. Much same may be said as to the provisions of the existing law regarding the paying of interest No matter how fair the Collector and how groundless the refusal to accept the compensation he has tendered, interest is payable on the amount of the award finally arrived at from the date of the Collector’s taking possession of the land. This may be for a period of two or three years, and as interest continues o run until the litigating is finally completed, it is to be advantage of the landowner to protract the proceedings the utmost. All this costs a very heavy and undeserved burden on the public purse.


It is proposed, therefore, to amend the law by making the Collector’s award final, unless altered by a decree in a regular suit. Persons interested in land taken up for public works w
ill thus still have the opportunity, if they desire it of preferring to an authority quite independent of the Collector their claims to more substantial compensation than the Collector has awarded; and will in all cases have a further right of appeal to the regular appellate Courts. They will no longer, however, be encouraged to litigate by the feeling that they can hardly lose, but may make a great gain by doing so.


This change in the procedure for determining the valuation of land taken up for public works will also render it possible to dispense with the services of the Assessors, who are now supposed to dispense with the services of the Assessors, who are now supposed to assist the Court. Considering the difficulty, almost throughout the country, of obtaining the service of such Assessors as are really qualified to form a sound opinion on the subject of the valuation of land, it is believed that the proposal to dispense with them, and to leave the matter too the sole arbitrament, first of the Collector, and then of the Judge, will in no way diminish the efficiency of the Courts in enquiries in which the value of lands is inn issue. It will certainly tend to shorten litigation and to diminish its expense.


Several minor amendments in the law, which experience has shown to be desirable, are included in the Bill….”



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