Land Acquisition| Provisions of 2013 LA Act not applicable for the acquisitions made under the BDA Act

Supreme Court: The bench of SA Nazeer* and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ has clarified the position of law on applicability of the provisions of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 to acquisitions made under the Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976 and has held that since LA Act has been incorporated into the BDA Act so far as they are applicable, the provisions of 2013 Act are not applicable for the acquisitions made under the BDA Act.

The primary object of the BDA Act is to carry out a planned development and acquisition, is merely incident of such planned development. It is also clear that the provisions of the LA Act would be attracted only insofar as they are applicable to the BDA Act. Where there are specific provisions under the BDA Act, the provisions of the LA Act will not be attracted. The BDA Act has provided a complete process for determination of rights. For the purpose of the claims in regard to the matters which are not specifically dealt with in the BDA Act, reference to the LA Act in terms of Section 36 has been made.

Sub-section (1) of Section 36 of BDA Act read,

“36. Provisions applicable to the acquisition of land otherwise than by agreement – (1) The acquisition of land under this Act otherwise than by agreement within or without the Bangalore Metropolitan Area shall be regulated by the provisions, so far as they are applicable, of the Land Acquisition Act. 1894.”

Further, Sub-section (3) of Section 36 of the BDA Act states that after the land vests in the Government under Section 16 of the LA Act, then the Government upon payment of cost of acquisition and upon the Authority agreeing to pay any further cost which may be incurred on the acquisition, shall transfer the land to the Authority whereupon it shall vest in the Authority.

The Court observed that the intention of the Legislature is to take recourse for the provisions of the LA Act to a limited extent and subject to the supremacy of the provisions of the BDA Act. This is evident from the expression “so far as they are applicable” employed in sub-section (1) of Section 36.

Further, the 2013 Act repeals only the LA Act and not any other Central or State enactment dealing with acquisition. Therefore, what is sought to be saved under Section 24 of the 2013 Act is only acquisitions which had been initiated under the LA Act and not those acquisitions which had been initiated under any other Central or State enactment. The expression contained in Section 24 of the LA Act cannot be given extensive interpretation by adding words into the provision, in the absence of the provision itself giving rise to any such implication.

The Court explained that,

“Incorporation of an earlier Act into the later Act is a legislative device for the sake of convenience in order to avoid verbatim reproduction of the provisions of the earlier Act into the later Act. Once the incorporation is made, the provisions of incorporated statute become an integral part of the statute in which it is transferred and thereafter there is no need to refer to the statute from which incorporation is made and any subsequent amendment made in it has no effect on the incorporating statute.”

Therefore, the provisions of the LA Act continue to apply for acquisitions made in the BDA Act so far as they are applicable as it is a legislation by incorporation having regard to Section 36 of the BDA Act.

The Court was, hence, of the view that 2013 Act would not regulate the acquisition proceedings made under the BDA Act.

[Bangalore Development Authority v. State of Karnataka, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 69, decided on 20.01.2022]


*Judgement by: Justice SA Nazeer

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