Frequently asked question on Sriperambudur land Acquisition.
1) Will you be looking into negotiating the compensation under the new bill also, especially when it's applicability to us becomes more clear in few months? It is said that the 1997 TN Act is based on the 1894 Act for establishing the market value. Doesn't the new land bill attempt to supersede the compensation based on 1894 Act?
Please be informed that the New Bill is yet to be notified, i.e. it is yet to be implemented as an Act and as per the Interview given by the Cabinet Minister Mr. Jairam Ramesh, and it appears that the same will be implemented either on 1st January 2014 or by 1st April 2014, which appears to be uncertain. In my considered opinion, I suppose the Bill will be implemented only in April 2014 or after the Election results. Nonetheless, as per the TN Act, only Market value is determined under the old Land Acquisition Act of 1857. and in our case the Market value has been already determined and the Award will be passed before the New Act is implemented.
The new Act would apply only to Acquisitions made prior to 5 years and in whose case the Award is yet to be passed, in all other cases the New Act will not apply retrospectively. In our case the Acquisition was made in 2010 and hence is not 5 years old and the Award will be passed before the implementation of the New Act. So in my opinion, I am of the view that the New Act will not apply to us. We have proposed to make a representation before the Government of Tamil Nadu to enforce the welfare measures proposed in the new act, at least with respect to fixation of compensation and payment of the same as per the New Act as a special measure by passing of a Ordinance of G.O. as the need may be.
If you are wondering whether it is better to wait until the government clarifies? The answer is patience will do no good, in light of the fact that Government agencies or the Government will not suo moto speed up the process, if left to them, we would have to wait for at least another year. Instead it would be better if we proactively take steps to speed up the process.
If your next question is, whether the steps taken to speed up the process will be detrimental, if the New Act is applied to us? The answer is again a NO. Even if the New Act is implemented. our actions will not prejudice our chances of getting a enhanced compensation as provided under the new act rather it would help us in getting the same at the Earliest.
The only catch would be that, If you sign an Agreement with the Government at the Market value they have fixed now, all the chances of enhancement and implementation of the new Act would be extinguished. The only thing that would need your consideration now is whether you should accept the compensation offered now and receive the money in 6 to 9 months from now relinquishing your right to appeal and enhancement of compensation or wait for a Year and receive the same amount and have the right to appeal and enhancement of compensation.
2) Some of us are not in Chennai. How will this be handled? Will we be signing filing papers using notary? Does Vakalath mean that we will not be required to attend the hearings, meetings with Collector, etc. and your law firm will represent us in our place at these meetings?
For those of you, who are not in Chennai, the signing of the papers would be notarized if they are signed outside Chennai only when the same is to be submitted before the Court. In all other cases, it need not be notarized. Once Vakalath is signed, we would be representing your interests on your behalf and your presence would be optional subject to your wishes. If you wish to be present you would be welcome to accompany us. Otherwise we would be handling it in your absence. All the drafts would be forwarded to you before the same is submitted and all our submission would recorded in writing before they are submitted and hence you will be appraised of the happenings in the proceedings at every stage. We would also be sending you communications regarding the progress of the Hearing at every stage.
7) How can I obtain Original EC if I am not in Chennai?
With respect to EC, it will not be an issue; we can engage someone to obtain it on your behalf. Expenses have to be borne by you.