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Social Legal Issue Involved Land Acquisition

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

Social Legal Issue Involved Land Acquisition

The Land is a free gift of the nature and it is an ample source of creation, sustenance and destruction for living and non-living things. It is the prime factor amongst the four factors of production namely land, labour, capital, and organization or entrepreneurship. The progress and prosperity of any country largely depends upon the geographical nature, yielding quality, intrinsic value and the extent of its territory. Land is a symbol of social status, greater extent of holding the land is higher will be the social status, which is universal truth.

There cannot be any land without an owner it is accepted fact that the king or the sovereign authority (in the modern sense, the State or Government) is the real owner of all the lands existing under his or its regime. During ancient period king was also considered to be the true representative of God. One of the peculiar characteristics of land is of its ownership which cannot be carried away physically inasmuch as it is an immovable property. Ownership is a concept and friction. It cannot be seen but conceived from the enjoyment of property by the holder of it to the total exclusion of others. The definition of ownership differs from one legal system to other legal system.

Ownership is sometimes regarded as a trinity of rights which in Latin tag means iusutendi, fruend, abutendi i.e., a right of using or profiting from land use means exclusive use. The primary owner of land is the king or in the modern sense, the elected government in power. As such the right of ownership will always remain with the king or with the elected government. Notwithstanding the fact that the land is transferred to individual for agricultural or their purpose by the king or the government, ownership in the land vest always in the king or the government, as the case may be, therefore when such land is required for "public purpose” government can acquire. In time of war or insurrection the proper authorities may possess and hold any part of the territory for common safety; and in time of peace the legislature may authorise to appropriate the same for public purpose. This is simply named as doctrine of eminent domain.

Doctrine of "eminent domain", in its general connotation means supreme power of the king or the government under which the king or the state can appropriate private property for its own use without owner's consent. Government most commonly use the power of eminent domain when acquisition of real property is necessary for completion of public projects such as making roads, construing dams and irrigation canals, establishing manufacturing industry and for urban development even though owner of the required property is unwilling to negotiate the price for its sale. Using of domain power or sovereign power of the state for compulsory acquisition of land is only against private property and it cannot be invoked against crown land or government land.


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