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Section 2 – WORKS OF DEFENCE ACT, 1903



Section 2. Definitions


In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context,—


(a) The expression “land” includes benefits to arise out of land, and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth;


(b) The expression “person interested” includes all persons claiming an interest in compensation to be made on account of the imposition of restrictions upon the use and enjoyment of land under this Act; and a person shall be deemed to be interested in land if he is interested in an easement affecting the land;


1[(c) The expression “District” means one of the Districts into which Indian, for military purposes for the time being, divided; it includes a Brigade area which does not form part of any District, and any area which the 2[Central Government] may, by notification in the 2[Official Gazette], declare to be a District for all or any of the purposes of this Act;


(d) The expression “General Officer Commanding the District” means the officer for the time being in command of the forces in a District;


(e) The expression “Commanding Officer” means the officer for the time being in command of a work of defence;


(f) The expression “Collector” includes any officer specially appointed by the 3[Central Government] to perform the functions of a Collector under this Act;


(g) The expression “Court” means a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction, unless the 4[Central Government] has appointed (as it is hereby empowered to do) a special judicial officer within any specified local limits to perform the functions of the Court under this Act;




“Clause 2.—Owing to the altered procedure which we propose for adoption in Part II, the maximum period, which may elapse between the publication of the preliminary notice of a declaration to impose restrictions. And the issue of the subsequent notice calling for the presentation of claims to compensation will, in ordinary cases amount to eighteen months, and this period may, with the previous sanction of the Governor-General in Council, be extended to three years. The actual proceedings in assessment up to the making of the award may not impossibly, at any rate in complicated cases, occupy a further period of a year. In these circumstances, houses another constructions, which will be affected by the restrictions imposed under clause 7,may. Unless the owner is given facilities fee ping them in repair, fall into ruin long before the investigation for purposes of assessment is completed, with the result that the difficulty of proving the actual amount(i) the following persons shall bed he Bill will be greatly enhanced. Even where the emergent powers conferred, by clause 6, sub-clause (3), are exercised, a period of several months, during which the condition, more especially of small and unsubstantial structures may be seriously altered by rain, may easily elapse before demolition commences; and, in these cases the report of the demolishing officer with respect to the buildings demolished by him is not unlikely: from the necessity of the case, to be most tangible evidence to which the parties can afterwards appeal. We think it desirable, therefore, to define the expression “maintained” for the purposes of clauses 6 and 7, in such a manner as to leave unaffected the liberty to repair buildings and other constructions during the interval from the publication of the preliminary notice to the making of the award or, in case of emergency. to demolition in anticipation of the award.”—S.C.R


(h) “Maintain”, with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, does not, when used in relation to a house or other construction, include the doing of any act necessary for keeping such house or construction, until the making of the award referred to in section 12-oruntil the exercise, prior to the making of the award, of the powers of demolition conferred, in case of emergency, by section 6-, sub-sections (1) and (3), in the state in which it was at the time of the publication of the notice referred to in section 3-, sub-section (2);


(i) The following persons shall be deemed “entitled to act” as and to the extent hereinafter provided, that is to say, trustees for other persons beneficially interested shall be deemed three sons entitled to act with reference to any case, and that to the same extent as the persons beneficially interested could have acted if free from disability; a married woman, in cases to which the English law is applicable, shall be deemed the person so entitled to act, and, whether of full age or not, to the same extent as if she were unmarried and of full age; and the guardians of minors and the committees or managers of lunatics or idiots shall be deemed respectively the persons so entitled to act, to the same extent as the minors, lunatics or idiots themselves, if free from disability, could have acted: Provided that—


(i) No person shall be deemed “entitled to act” whose interest in the subject matter is shown to the satisfaction of the Collector or Court to be adverse to the interest of the person interested for which he would otherwise be entitled to act;


(ii) In every case the person interested may appear by a next friend or, In default of his appearance by a next friend, the Collector or Court, as the case may be, shall appoint a guardian for the case to act on his behalf in the conduct thereof;


(iii) The provisions of Chapter XXXI of the Code of Civil Procedure shall, mutatis mutandis, apply in the case of persons interested appearing before a Collector or Court by a next friend, or by a guardian, for the case, in proceedings under this Act; and


(iv) No person “entitled to act” shall be competent to receive the compensation money payable to the person for whom he is entitled to act, unless he would have been competent to alienate the land upon the use and enjoyment of which restrictions are to be imposed and receive and give a good discharge for the purchase-money on a voluntary sale.




1. Substituted for the original clauses (c) and (d) by the Indian Works of Defence (Amendment) Act, 1921 (11 of 1921), S.2.


2. Substituted for the words “local Government” and “local official Gazette” by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).


3. Substituted for the words “Local Government” by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).


4. Substituted for the words “Local Government” by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).



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