Eminent Domain

June 8, 2024

Eminent domain in India refers to the power of the government to acquire private property for public use, provided the owner is given fair compensation. This concept is enshrined in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (LARR Act). The Act ensures that the process of land acquisition is transparent and fair, protecting the rights of landowners while addressing the needs of infrastructure development and public welfare projects. Compensation under the Act includes the market value of the land, along with additional amounts for solatium (compensation for emotional distress) and rehabilitation and resettlement benefits. Eminent domain is justified on the grounds that the welfare of the community as a whole takes precedence over individual property rights, but it must balance the need for development with the protection of private property. The Act also mandates public consultations, social impact assessments, and adherence to legal procedures to prevent arbitrary and unjust land acquisitions. Eminent domain thus plays a critical role in India’s development while ensuring that affected individuals receive just and equitable treatment.


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