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The Land Question in IndiaState, Dispossession, and Capitalist Transition$
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Anthony P. D'Costa and Achin Chakraborty

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198792444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198792444.001.0001

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Land Acquisition and “Fair Compensation” of the “Project Affected”

Land Acquisition and “Fair Compensation” of the “Project Affected”

Scrutiny of the Law and Its Interpretation

(p.151) 6 Land Acquisition and “Fair Compensation” of the “Project Affected”
The Land Question in India

Malabika Pal

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines the fairness claim of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (LARR), 2013. The author uses the utilitarian fairness standard proposed by one of the most influential American constitutional scholars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Frank Michelman, whose study of judicial decisions from an ethical perspective by introducing the concept of “demoralization costs” has shaped the interpretational debate on takings law in the United States. Michelman’s analysis is particularly relevant for the land question in India today since there is a widespread feeling that millions of people have been unfairly deprived of their land and livelihoods. The chapter looks at the role of the Indian judiciary in interpreting the land acquisition legislation since landmark judgments affect the morale of society. It concludes that using Michelman’s standard would help in bringing about greater “fairness” than what the new legislation has achieved.

Keywords:   Fair Compensation, demoralization costs, land acquisition, Frank Michelman, livelihoods, Indian judiciary

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