Land acquisition law: Jairam complains to Prez

Land acquisition law: Jairam complains to Prez

jairam ramesh

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has written to President Ram Nath Kovind against the attempts by the Centre to dilute the land acquisition laws through a rarely used provision of the Constitution.

Ramesh, a former Union Minister for Rural Development, has argued against the use of Article 242 (2) of the Constitution “indiscriminately” to allow state laws to circumvent the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

Article 242(2) of the Constitution allows the state laws to prevail over the laws passed by Parliament if it receives presidential assent.

Ramesh recalled that in 2015, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had encouraged state governments to draft and pass their own laws for land acquisition and get them approved by the Centre.

“Following this unambiguous official sanction, numerous BJP-ruled states and others ruled by its allies have moved ahead with their amendments,” the Congress leader said.

He said the 2013 land acquisition law was a Central law and encouraging states to pass laws to dilute it amounted to breaching the provisions of the Constitution that gave supremacy to laws made by Parliament.

Undermining Parliament

“Instead of upholding its sanctity (as required by the Constitution) the government wishes to undermine the role of Parliament by actively encouraging states to bypass the law,” he said.

States such as Tripura and Chhattisgarh have diluted certain provisions of the 2013 Act, while Rajasthan has watered down labour laws passed by Parliament.

Ramesh urged the President to reconsider the use of power under Article 254 (2) indiscriminately.