Madras High Court issues notice to Centre on plea against National Highways Act

Subsections 5 and 6 of section 3G state that in case of any grievance with the compensation fixed by the competent authority,
Madurai Bench of Madras High Court
Madurai Bench of Madras High Court

MADURAI:  The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the union government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking to declare a portion of Section 3G (determining compensation for land acquisition) of the National Highways Act, 1956 as unconstitutional, on the grounds that it does not provide a proper appellate remedy in case of unfair compensation.

The litigant P Mahendran, an advocate from Madurai, stated that Section 3G of the National Highways Act was introduced as part of the amendments brought in by the National Highways Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997. 

He said section 3G of the NH Act, which deals with compensation for the land acquired, poses a problem as the appellate or review mechanism for compensation under the section is in direct contrast with the general land acquisition laws (1894 Act and 2013 Act).

Subsections 5 and 6 of section 3G state that in case of any grievance with the compensation fixed by the competent authority, the aggrieved party should go before the arbitrator appointed by the Centre, who in turn should fix the compensation by following provisions of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

According to Mahendran, this limits the scope of challenging or setting aside the compensation determined, as procedural irregularities in the acquisition process would clearly fall outside the purview of arbitration, them being beyond the scope of arbitration.

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