Topic: Section 6. Further powers exercisable after publication of notice

Section 6. Further powers exercisable after publication of notice under section 3, sub-section (2)

(1) Whenever a declaration has been made and public notice thereof has been given under section 3-, it shall, subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2) to (4), be lawful for such officer as the 1[Central Government] may, by general or special order, authorise in this behalf, and for his servants and workmen, to enter and demolish any buildings or other constructions on the surface, to cut down or grub up all or any of the trees, to remove or alter all or any of the banks, fences, hedges and ditches, to make underground and other drains, to fill up all excavations, and demolish all buildings and other constructions below the surface, and generally to level and dear the said land and do all such acts for leveling and clearing the same as he may deem necessary or, proper but in such manner nevertheless that evidence of the boundaries of the lands held by different owners may be preserved.

(2) The powers conferred by sub-section (1) shall not be exercised,—

(a) Save as otherwise provided by sub-section (3), before the making of the award hereinafter referred to in section 12-, nor

(b) Save as otherwise provided by sub-section (4), after the expiration of six months from the making of the said award, or any shorter period on the expiration of which the officer exercising such powers gives notice to the Collector that there will be no further exercise of them.

(3) In case of emergency, the 1[Central Government] 2[* *] may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that all or any powers conferred by sub-section (1) may be exercised at any time within six months after the publication of the notice referred to in section 3-, sub-section (2), and such powers may be exercised accordingly, and the said notification shall be conclusive proof of emergency.

(4) Nothing in sub-section (2) shall be deemed to preclude any such officer or his servants or workmen from exercising at any time the said powers for the purpose of removing, wholly or in part, any building or other obstruction maintained, created, added to, altered, planted, slacked, stored or otherwise accumulated in contravention of this Act or of any rule or order made there under or of any condition prescribed in accordance therewith.

OBJECTS AND REASONS

Clause 6.—

The original Bill, following the lines of the defence Act, 1860(23 and 24Vict., c. 112), section 34-, purported, in all cases, to authorize the exercise of the powers of demolition conferred thereby after the expiration of fourteen days from the preliminary notice. On the other hand, it restricted to six months the period of three years during which, under the English Statute, acts in pursuance of those powers must be completed. One result of this abridgment of time was that the issue of the notice calling upon persons affected to present their claims for compensation was postponed until after the demolition was complete. We think that this procedure is, in several respects, capable of improvement. At the outset, we see no necessity, in ordinary cases, for exercising any power of demolition until after the Collector has completed his assessment and made his award. On the contrary, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at a really reliable estimate on the basis of statements relating to structures which have ceased to exist. In the case of emergency, the exigencies of defence in this country may render impracticable the delay of fourteen days, which, on the analogy of peace conditions in England, the original Bill would have rendered obligatory in all circumstances alike. We propose to recognize the distinction by enacting expressly that the acts of demolition, for the completion of which we would retain the very abridged period of six months, shall not commence until after the making of the award; and from this rule we would except only the case, not of mere urgency as contemplated by the Land Acquisition Act, 1894,section 17-, but of actual emergency sufficiently grave to warrant a notification to which the previous sanction of the Governor-General in Council is required. As an additional safeguard, we suggest that emergent power, so notified, shall not be exercised after the expiration of a period of six months after the publication of the preliminary notice. Having thus narrowed down these powers to absolutely extreme cases, we consider it inexpedient to hamper the discretion of the officer exercising them by accepting a suggestion to enact a proviso directing, on the analogy of the Land Acquisition Act, 1804,section 17-, sub-section (1), that no build in shall be entered or demolished without giving the occupier reasonably sufficient notice to enable him to remove his moveable property without unnecessary inconvenience. To give as much notice as appears reasonably practicable is always a convenience to all parties concerned: but we are reluctant to prescribe, for cases of emergency, a proviso, necessarily in general terms, which would only result in claims raising the difficult quest on of fact whether, in the particular circumstances, an hour or two longer might or might not have been allowed."—S.C.R.