ACQUISITION OF LAND IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST ACT, 1996

CHAPTER 1A
ACQUISITION OF LAND IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST ACT, 1996

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

ACQUISITION OF LAND

3. Acquisition of land in the public interest.

4. Notice of intended acquisition.

5. Notice to treat.

6. Compulsory acquisition of land.

7. Contravention of article 26 of the Constitution.

8. Legality of acquisition.

9. Effect of notice of acquisition.

PART III

COMPENSATION

10. Conversion of interest into compensation.

11. Court may adjust rights.

12. Claims for compensation.

13. Land subject to mortgage.

14. Rejected claims.

15. Principles of determination.

16. Determination of claims under section 12 by agreement.

17. Proceed by claim in Court.

18. Compensation deemed to be payable.

19. Rules of Court.

20. Payment of compensation.

21. Deposit of compensation in the treasury.

22. Interests on compensation.

PART IV

MISCELLANEOUS

23. Power to examine land or to take possession of land.

24. Survey signed by Director of Surveys conclusive evidence.

25. Persons in possession of land.

26. Withdrawal from acquisition.

27. Payment to be a good discharge.

28. Compliance with the Civil Code.

29. Registration of interest.

30. Registration where only one part of land is acquired.

31. Where owner of land is not known.

32. Service of notice.

33. Ranking of application.

34. Option to purchase or lease.

35. Domaine Public not affected.

36. Regulations.

37. Repeal of Cap. 105.

38. Savings.

SCHEDULE

9 of 1996.

AN ACT to make provision for the acquisition of land in the public interest, to provide for matters connected therewith and to repeal the Land Acquisition Act.

[Date of commencement: 3rd June 1996]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Acquisition of Land in the Public Interest Act, 1996.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act—

"acquire in the public interest", in relation to land, means the acquisition or taking possession of land for its development or utilisation to promote the public welfare or benefit or for public defence, safety, order, morality or health or for town and country planning;

"Court" means the Supreme Court;

"Curator" means the Curator of Vacant Estates;

"date of acquisition", in relation to land acquired under section 6, means the date on which the notice in respect of the land is published in the Gazette under that section;

"date of vesting", in relation to land acquired under section 6, means the date on which the land is vested in the Republic under section 9;

"dealing" includes a lease or a mortgage;

"interest", in relation to land, means a right, power, privilege, mortgage or a beneficial interest, in over or in connection with the land;

"land" includes an interest in land and building on land;

"mortgage", includes a charge and a privilege and mortgagee and mortgagor shall be construed accordingly;

"mortgagee", means in relation to a mortgage, means the person (including the Republic) for the time being entitled to the moneys secured by the mortgage;

"notice of acquisition" in relation to land acquired under section 6, means the notice in respect of the land published in the Gazette under that section;

"notice of intended acquisition", in relation to land acquired under this Act, means the notice in respect of the land published in the Gazette under section 4(1)(a);

"owner" includes a person having an interest in land.

PART II

ACQUISITION OF LAND

3. Acquisition of land in the public interest.

(1) Where the Minister is of the opinion that it is necessary to acquire any land in the public interest and that there is reasonable justification for causing any hardship to any person who has an interest in land, the Minister may, subject to subsection (2), acquire that land in accordance with this Act.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as preventing the Republic from acquiring land by agreement otherwise than in accordance with this Act.

4. Notice of intended acquisition.

(1) Where it is necessary to acquire any land under this Act, the Minister shall—

(a) publish in the Gazette a notice of intended acquisition of the land;

(b) cause to be published in a local newspaper on three consecutive days a copy of such notice; and

(c) cause to be served on any person who, on information available to the Minister, has an interest in the land a copy of the notice of intended acquisition published under paragraph (a).

(2) A notice under subsection (1) shall state—

(a) the description of the land intended to be acquired;

(b) the purpose for which it is necessary to acquire the land; and

(c) that it is intended to acquire the land within such period not exceeding 180 days as may be specified in the notice.

(3) Where a notice of intended acquisition has been published under subsection (1) and the land to which it relates has not been acquired under this Act within the period specified in the notice, the notice shall cease to have effect and the intended acquisition is deemed to have been abandoned.

(4) The Minister may by a notice published in the Gazette withdraw a notice of intended acquisition published under subsection (1) and from the date of publication of the notice under this subsection, the notice of intended acquisition published under subsection (1) shall cease to have any effect and the intended acquisition is deemed to have been abandoned.

(5) Any transfer of or dealing with a land referred to in a notice of intended acquisition under subsection (1) during the period such notice has effect shall not affect the validity of the notice and any person who is a party to such transfer or dealing during that period is deemed to have had notice of the intended acquisition of the land.

(6) Where any person, being a person who has an interest in the land in respect of which a notice of intended acquisition has been published under subsection (1), suffers any loss by reason of the notice of intended acquisition ceasing to have effect under subsection (3) or (4), the Republic is liable to pay the person such compensation as is determined by agreement between that person and the Minister or, in the absence of agreement, by action by that person against the Republic, in a court of competent jurisdiction.

5. Notice to treat.

(1) Subject to subsection (8), the Minister shall, after the publication of a notice of intended acquisition under section 4—

(a) cause to be served on every person served with the notice of intended acquisition under section 4 a notice inviting the person to treat with the Minister for the sale of the land to the Republic hereafter in this Act referred to as the "notice to treat";

(b) publish in the Gazette the notice to treat; and

(c) cause to be published in a local newspaper on three consecutive days a copy of the notice to treat.

(2) The notice to treat shall state a description of the land intended to be acquired.

(3) A person served with a notice to treat under subsection (1) shall not later than 30 days after the service of the notice furnish to the Minister in the prescribed form particulars of—

(a) the interest claimed by the person in the land;

(b) the amount for which the person is agreeable to sell to the Republic the interest of the person in the land;

(c) the name and address of any other person who to the knowledge of the person mentioned in paragraph (a), has an interest in the land and the nature of that interest.

(4) Any person, other than a person served with a notice to treat, who claims any interest in the land referred to in the notice may not later than 30 days after the publication of the notice to treat in the Gazette under subsection (1) furnish to the Minister in the prescribed form the particulars specified in paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (3).

(5) Upon receipt of the particulars under subsection (3) and (4), as the case may be, the Minister shall treat with the person furnishing particulars for the acquisition of the interest of the person in the land by the Republic by agreement and may enter into an agreement with that person for the acquisition of that interest.

(6) An agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (5), for the acquisition of an interest in land may be made conditional on the acquisition by the Republic of any other interest in the land and may stipulate that if the other interest is not so acquired within a specified time the agreement shall be of no force or effect and, in such a case, if the other interest is not so acquired the agreement shall be of no force or effect.

(7) An agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (5) shall specify the compensation payable for the acquisition of the interest and such compensation may take the form of land given in exchange for the land acquired.

(8) Where the Minister certifies that there is an urgent need for the acquisition of any land in the public interest and that it is not expedient to comply with subsection (1), the Minister may acquire the land under section 6 and, where the Minister so certifies, the failure to comply with subsection (1) in relation to that land shall not affect the legality of any acquisition of the land under section 6.

6. Compulsory acquisition of land.

(1) Where the Minister fails to enter into an agreement for the acquisition of any land under section 5 not less than 10 days before the expiration of the period specified in the notice of intended acquisition in relation to that land or where the Minister has granted a certificate under section 5(8) in relation to that land, the minister may, before the expiration of that period, by notice in the Gazette declare that the land is acquired for the purpose specified in the notice of intended acquisition in relation to that land.

(2) The land, being an interest in land, acquired under subsection (1) may be an interest in land which previously did not exist as such.

(3) The notice under subsection (1) shall state a description of the land or interest in the land acquired under subsection (1).

(4) The Minister shall as soon as practicable after the publication of a notice in the Gazette under subsection (1)—

(a) cause a copy of the notice to be served on every person, who on information available to the Minister, had an interest in the land immediately before the publication of the notice;

(b) cause to be published in a local newspaper on three consecutive days a copy of the notice.

7. Contravention of article 26 of the Constitution.

(1) Any person who has an interest in the land specified in a notice of acquisition may, where the person claims that article 26 of the Constitution has been or is likely to be contravened by the notice of intended acquisition, apply to the Constitutional Court for redress under article 46 of the Constitution.

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