‘No Ordinance To Amend Land Acquisition Law’ – Times of India – 20-Nov-2014

November 20, 2014 - Uncategorized

Law minister Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday ruled out taking the ordinance route for any amendments in the Land Acquisition Act though he said the government was in favour of bringing some changes.

“There is a proposal. The call has to be taken by the concerned (rural development) ministry,” he said, without elaborating on the proposed changes.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had last week said the government will amend the “tough” land acquisition law even without opposition support as it looks to restore confidence in the economy. The government is in favour of consulting other parties and developing a consensus on the proposed changes.

Some states have already expressed concern and cited difficulties in acquiring land for infrastructure projects with stringent clause such as obtaining consent of at least 70% of affected landowners in case of PPP projects and 80% in case of private projects.

On ratification of the judges appointment commission bill by states, Gowda said he has written to state governments to ratify the bill which will put in place a new mechanism to select Supreme Court and high court judges.

The Constitution amendment bill requires ratification by at least 50% of state legislatures. Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tripura legislatures have already ratified the bill. Gowda said since winter sessions of state legislatures were lined up in coming days, the required number of ratifications could be completed soon.

Parliament had in August cleared a Constitution amendment bill to facilitate setting up of a commission for appointment of judges, replacing the 20-year-old collegium system, which has been under severe criticism.

The law minister said with many proposals getting stuck due to inter-ministerial litigation, the government was bringing a new policy to ensure that departments did not sue each other and cases were settled through arbitration and reconciliation.

Along with the National Litigation Policy that the government plans to bring, ministries and departments are being encouraged to amend laws to reduce court cases.

In this direction, the finance ministry is likely to amend the Negotiable Instruments Act to reduce burden on courts with regard to litigation related to cheque bounce cases.

The transport ministry is also likely to amend the Motor Vehicles Act to reduce litigation related to challans.

Times of India

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