The Telangana Legislative Assembly today passed the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Telangana Amendment) Bill, 2016 (hereafter called Telangana Bill) amending the Bill once again, following the suggestions made by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Deputy Chief Minister and Revenue Minister Mahmood Ali introduced the amendment Bill in the House. The main opposition party, Congress, tried to enter into the well of the House, tore the papers and thrown them towards the Chair. Amidst the acrimonious scenes, the Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary declared the Bill passed, following the approval from the treasury benches. The CPM lone MLA Sunnam Rajaiah came to the Assembly wearing black shirt to lodge his protest to the state government in regard to the arrests of the red chilli farmers in Khammam district. The special session to pass the Bill closed within 10 minutes after the commencement of the House. The Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao didn’t attend the House.
The Ministry of Home Affairs’ observations were as follows: (i) in response to the Clause 1 of the Telangana Bill, it is submitted that State Legislature is competent to legislate with retrospective effect and also give overriding effect, however, vested rights may not be taken away while giving retrospective/ overriding effect. (ii) It is notices that Clause 1 of Telangana Bill has two commencement clauses. It appears clause 1(3) is otiose. (iii) In response to the Clause 6, it appears that the words ‘revise and update’ appearing in the Central Act are proposed to be substituted by the word ‘ascertain’. It may bring ambiguity and thus may lead to increased litigation & any policy which generates litigation is a bad policy. Hence the amendment may not be agreed. (iv) In response to the Clauses 7&8, it is advised that while entering into such agreements with land owners the consideration/ compensation etc., may not be abnormally at variance to the disadvantage of the land owners. (v) It appears that the Clause 10 is otiose.
The Ministry of Home Affairs also mentioned in the letter addressed to the state government that subject to the observations contained in para 4 above, there appears no legal or constitutional objection if assent of the President is accorded under Article 201.r/w Article 254 (2) of the Constitution to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Telangana) Bill, 2016. (NSS)