Section 7 in The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

Title: Appraisal of Social Impact Assessment report by an Expert Group.

Description: (1) The appropriate Government shall ensure that the Social Impact Assessment report is evaluated by an independent multi-disciplinary Expert Group, as may be constituted by it. (2) The Expert Group constituted under sub-section (1) shall include the following, namely:— (a) two non-official social scientists; (b) two representatives of Panchayat, Gram Sabha, Municipality or Municipal Corporation, as the case may be; (c) two experts on rehabilitation; and (d) a technical expert in the subject relating to the project. (3) The appropriate Government may nominate a person from amongst the members of the Expert Group as the Chairperson of the Group. (4) If the Expert Group constituted under sub-section (1), is of the opinion that,— (a) the project does not serve any public purpose; or (b) the social costs and adverse social impacts of the project outweigh the potential benefits, it shall make a recommendation within two months from the date of its constitution to the effect that the project shall be abandoned forthwith and no further steps to acquire the land will be initiated in respect of the same: Provided that the grounds for such recommendation shall be recorded in writing by the Expert Group giving the details and reasons for such decision: Provided further that where the appropriate Government, inspite of such recommendations, proceeds with the acquisition, then, it shall ensure that its reasons for doing so are recorded in writing. (5) If the Expert Group constituted under sub-section (1), is of the opinion that,— (a) the project will serve any public purpose; and (b) the potential benefits outweigh the social costs and adverse social impacts, it shall make specific recommendations within two months from the date of its constitution whether the extent of land proposed to be acquired is the absolute bare-minimum extent needed for the project and whether there are no other less displacing options available: Provided that the grounds for such recommendation shall be recorded in writing by the Expert Group giving the details and reasons for such decision. (6) The recommendations of the Expert Group referred to in sub-sections (4) and (5) shall be made available in the local language to the Panchayat, Municipality or Municipal Corporation, as the case may be, and the offices of the District Collector, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and the Tehsil, and shall be published in the affected areas, in such manner as may be prescribed and uploaded on the website of the appropriate Government.

Title: Examination of proposals for land acquisition and Social Impact Assessment report by appropriate Government.

Description: (1) The appropriate Government shall ensure that— (a) there is a legitimate and bona fide public purpose for the proposed acquisition which necessitates the acquisition of the land identified; (b) the potential benefits and the public purpose referred to in clause (a) shall outweigh the social costs and adverse social impact as determined by the Social Impact Assessment that has been carried out; (c) only the minimum area of land required for the project is proposed to be acquired; (d) there is no unutilised land which has been previously acquired in the area; (e) the land, if any, acquired earlier and remained unutilised, is used for such public purpose and make recommendations in respect thereof. (2) The appropriate Government shall examine the report of the Collector, if any, and the report of the Expert Group on the Social Impact Assessment study and after considering all the reports, recommend such area for acquisition which would ensure minimum displacement of people, minimum disturbance to the infrastructure, ecology and minimum adverse impact on the individuals affected. (3) The decision of the appropriate Government shall be made available in the local language to the Panchayat, Municipality or Municipal Corporation, as the case may be, and the offices of the District Collector, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and the Tehsil, and shall be published in the affected areas, in such manner as may be prescribed, and uploaded on the website of the appropriate Government: Provided that where land is sought to be acquired for the purposes as specified in sub-section (2) of section 2, the appropriate Government shall also ascertain as to whether the prior consent of the affected families as required under the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 2, has been obtained in the manner as may be prescribed.

Title: Exemption from Social Impact Assessment.

Description: Where land is proposed to be acquired invoking the urgency provisions under section 40, the appropriate Government may exempt undertaking of the Social Impact Assessment study.

Title: Special provision to safeguard food security.

Description: (1) Save as otherwise provided in sub-section (2), no irrigated multi-cropped land shall be acquired under this Act. (2) Such land may be acquired subject to the condition that it is being done under exceptional circumstances, as a demonstrable last resort, where the acquisition of the land referred to in subsection (1) shall, in aggregate for all projects in a district or State, in no case exceed such limits as may be notified by the appropriate Government considering the relevant State specific factors and circumstances. (3) Whenever multi-crop irrigated land is acquired under sub-section (2), an equivalent area of culturable wasteland shall be developed for agricultural purposes or an amount equivalent to the value of the land acquired shall be deposited with the appropriate Government for investment in agriculture for enhancing food-security. (4) In a case not falling under sub-section (1), the acquisition of the agricultural land in aggregate for all projects in a district or State, shall in no case exceed such limits of the total net sown area of that district or State, as may be notified by the appropriate Government: Provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply in the case of projects that are linear in nature such as those relating to railways, highways, major district roads, irrigation canals, power lines and the like. STATE AMENDMENTS Andhra Pradesh After Chapter III, the following Chapter shall be inserted, namely: --- "CHAPTER III A PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER II AND CHAPTER HI NOT TO APPLY TO CERTAIN PROJECTS 10A. Power of State Government to exempt certain projects:---The State Government may, in the public interest, by notification in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette, exempt any of the following projects from the application of the provisions of Chapter II and Chapter III of this Act, namely:-- (a) such projects vital to national security or defence of India and every part thereof, including preparation for defence or defence production. (b) rural infrastructure including electrification; (c) affordable housing and housing for the poor people; (d) industrial corridors set up by the State Government and its undertakings (in which case the land shall be acquired up to one kilometer on both sides of designated railway lines or roads for such industrial corridor); and (e) infrastructure projects, including projects under public-private partnership where the ownership of the land continues to vest with the Government: Provided that the State Government shall, before the issue of notification, ensure the extent of land for the proposed acquisition keeping in view the minimum land required for such project." [Vide Andhra Pradesh Act 22 of 2018, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 1-1-2014).] Maharashtra After section 10 of the principal Act, the following section shall be inserted, namely:-- "10A. Power of State Government to exempt certain projects The State Government may, in the public interest, by notification in the Official Gazette, exempt any of the following projects from the application of the provisions of Chapter II and Chapter III of this Act, namely :--- (a) such projects vital to national security or defence of India and every part thereof, including preparation for defence or defence production ; (b) rural infrastructure including irrigation and electrification; (c) affordable housing and housing for the poor people ; (d) industrial area or industrial estate set up by the State Government and its undertaking ; (e) industrial corridor set up by the State Government and its undertaking (in which case the land shall be acquired up to one kilometre on both sides of designated railway line or roads for such industrial corridor) ; and (f) infrastructure projects including projects under public-private partnership where the ownership of land continues to vest with the Government: Provided that, the State Government shall, before issue of notification, ensure the extent of land for the proposed acquisition keeping in view the bare minimum land required for such project.] [Vide Maharashtra Act 37 of 2018, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 26-4-2018).]

Title: Publication of preliminary notification and power of officers thereupon.

Description: (1) Whenever, it appears to the appropriate Government that land in any area is required or likely to be required for any public purpose, a notification (hereinafter referred to as preliminary notification) to that effect along with details of the land to be acquired in rural and urban areas shall be published in the following manner, namely:— (a) in the Official Gazette; (b) in two daily newspapers circulating in the locality of such area of which one shall be in the regional language; (c) in the local language in the Panchayat, Municipality or Municipal Corporation, as the case may be and in the offices of the District Collector, the Sub-divisional Magistrate and the Tehsil; (d) uploaded on the website of the appropriate Government; (e) in the affected areas, in such manner as may be prescribed. (2) Immediately after issuance of the notification under sub-section (1), the concerned Gram Sabha or Sabhas at the village level, municipalities in case of municipal areas and the Autonomous Councils in case of the areas referred to in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, shall be informed of the contents of the notification issued under the said sub-section in all cases of land acquisition at a meeting called especially for this purpose. (3) The notification issued under sub-section (1) shall also contain a statement on the nature of the public purpose involved, reasons necessitating the displacement of affected persons, summary of the Social Impact Assessment Report and particulars of the Administrator appointed for the purposes of rehabilitation and resettlement under section 43. (4) No person shall make any transaction or cause any transaction of land specified in the preliminary notification or create any encumbrances on such land from the date of publication of such notification till such time as the proceedings under this Chapter are completed: Provided that the Collector may, on the application made by the owner of the land so notified, exempt in special circumstances to be recorded in writing, such owner from the operation of this subsection: Provided further that any loss or injury suffered by any person due to his wilful violation of this provision shall not be made up by the Collector. (5) After issuance of notice under sub-section (1), the Collector shall, before the issue of a declaration under section 19, undertake and complete the exercise of updating of land records as prescribed within a period of two months.