The Joint Committee on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill has written to the State governments seeking their views on the contentious legislation.
The letter was sent by the chairman of the committee, S.S. Ahluwalia, at the insistence of the Opposition members who were of the view that the State governments should be roped in since their reservations about the 2013 “land acquisition law” has been repeatedly used by the Modi government to justify the amendments to the Act.
When the issue of inviting the State governments’ views was raised by the Opposition members at the first meeting of the committee, Mr. Ahluwalia had said that by rules, this could be done only with the Speaker’s permission.
Meanwhile, members claimed that practically all the 400 written representations received by the committee on the Bill were against the amendments proposed by the government.
Likewise, most of the organisations that have deposed before the committee over the last four sittings, including Tuesday, have spoken against the changes, especially dropping the social impact assessment and the consent clause.
Activist Anna Hazare and organisations from the Sangh Parivar are likely to articulate their position on the Bill next week when the committee meets again.
The Opposition members were keen that Sangh Parivar views be enlisted since sections in the RSS are said to be opposed to the Bill. When they make their presentations before the committee, what they have to say will become a part of public record, members said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, there were some arguments over a managing director of a private company making a submission before the committee.
As he began speaking in support of the Bill, Opposition members questioned his presence, pointing out that it was one thing for an association of businessmen to depose before the committee but such an avenue cannot be given to any one private company.