REQUISITIONING OF LAND ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

POSSESSION OF LAND AND PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION

2. Power to take possession of land.

3. Continuation of occupation of land requisitioned under the Defence Regulations.

4. Occupation and use of requisitioned land.

5. Compensation payable in respect of requisitioned land.

6. Amount of compensation.

7. Interest on compensation.

8. Provision as to land subject to mortgage.

9. Claims for compensation.

10. Dispute as to right to compensation.

11. Settlement of award as to compensation.

12. Appeal from award.

PART II

COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF REQUISITIONED LAND

13. Protection of rights to compensation under Defence Regulations.

14. Application of Ordinance No. 21 of 1944.

15. Construction of section 2 of the special Ordinance.

16. Exclusion of damage compensation where the special Ordinance applies.

17. Compensation upon acquisition of land where possession is taken under section 2.

PART III

GENERAL

18. Appointment of Competent Authority.

19. Certificate that land is required under this Act.

20. Service of notices.

21. Regulations.

22. Interpretation.

SCHEDULE.

33 of 1950,

20 of 1953,

55 of 1961.

AN ACT to authorise the taking of possession and the use of land required for certain essential purposes, to provide for the determination of the compensation payable in respect of such land, and to make special provision relating to the acquisition of such land and of land heretofore requisitioned under defence regulations.

[Date of Commencement: 9th December, 1950]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as Requisitioning of Land Act.

PART I

POSSESSION OF LAND AND PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION

2. Power to take possession of land.

(1) It shall be lawful for a competent authority, with the prior approval of the President, to take possession of any land and to give such written directions as appear to him to be necessary or expedient in connection with the taking of possession of such land, in any case where it appears to him that the land is required—

(a) for the purpose of the maintenance of supplies or services essential to the life of the community; or

(b) for the purpose of implementing any such scheme as is approved by the President for the importation, storage or distribution of essential commodities by any Government department, local authority, corporation or co-operative society; or

[S 2(1)(b) ins by s 2 of Act 55 of 1961.]

(c) for the purposes of use or occupation by the armed forces or any visiting force.

[S 2(1)(b) relettered as 2(1)(c) by s 2 of Act 55 of 1961.]

(2) The owner or occupier of any land shall, if requested by or on behalf of a competent authority so to do, furnish to such authority or person as may be specified in the request such information in his the possession relating to the land (being information which may reasonably be demanded of him for the purposes of this section) as may be so specified.

(3) Any police officer may, if requested so to do by a competent authority, take such steps and use such force as may be reasonably necessary for securing compliance with any directions given under subsection (1) in relation to the taking or giving up of possession of any land.

(4) The period during which possession may be retained by virtue of this Act of any land of which possession is taken under this section shall be fixed by the President at the time of taking of possession; but such period may from time to time be extended by the President.

3. Continuation of occupation of land requisitioned under the Defence Regulations.

(1) In any case where possession of any land had, on or after the 24th day of February, 1946, been taken by a competent authority under regulation 34 of the Defence (Miscellaneous) Regulations as having effect by virtue of the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945, of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and the land is at the appointed date in the occupation of that competent authority or of any other person authorised by the competent authority in that behalf, the competent authority under this Act may, if it appears to him that the land is required for the purpose of the maintenance of supplies or services essential to the life of the community, give notice in writing by registered post to the owner of the land that possession and occupation of the land is to be continued after the appointed date; and in any such case possession of the land shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be taken on that date by virtue of section 2 of this Act.

(2) In any case where possession of any land was continued after the 24th day of February, 1946, under regulation 34 of the Defence (Miscellaneous) Regulations as having effect by virtue of the Emergency Laws (Transitional Powers) Act, 1946, of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and the land is at the appointed date in the occupation of a competent authority or of any other person authorised in that behalf under that regulation, the competent authority under this Act may, if it appears to him that the land is required for the purposes of use or occupation by Her Majesty's Ceylon forces or any visiting force or for the purpose of the maintenance of supplies or services essential to the life of the community, give notice in writing by registered post to the owner of the land that possession and occupation of the land is to be continued after the appointed date; and in any such case possession of the land shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be taken on that date by virtue of section 2 of this Act.

(3) For the purposes of the application of the Defence (Compensation) Regulations, 1941, in relation to any land in the case of which the power conferred by subsection (2) of this section is exercised, the period of possession of that land in the exercise of emergency powers shall be deemed to have terminated on the appointed date:

Provided, however, that notwithstanding anything in the Defence (Compensation) Regulations, 1941—

(a) any compensation, under sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (1) of regulation 2 thereof, in respect of any damage to any such land which may have occurred before the appointed date, shall not accrue due until the end of the period for which possession of the land is retained by virtue of this Act, and shall be paid to the person who is the owner of the land at the end of the period aforesaid; and

(b) no compensation under the aforesaid sub-paragraph (b) shall be payable in respect of any such damage which may be made good by a person acting on behalf of a competent authority while possession of the land is retained by virtue of this Act; and

(c) the procedure set out in sections 9 to 12 of this Act and in any regulations made under this Act shall apply in relation to any claim for any compensation referred to in paragraph (a) of this proviso in like manner as though the claim were a claim for compensation under this Act.

4. Occupation and use of requisitioned land.

Any land, of which possession is taken under section 2 of this Act or is deemed to be taken by virtue of that section, may, notwithstanding any restriction imposed on the use thereof by any other written law or any instrument or otherwise, be used by, or under the authority of, the competent authority, for such purpose and in such manner, as that authority thinks expedient for any purpose referred to in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) of section 2 (1); and the competent authority, so far as appears to him to be necessary or expedient in connection with the use of the land by virtue of this section—

(a) may do, or authorise persons using the land as aforesaid to do, in relation to the land, anything which any person having an interest in the land would be entitled to do by virtue of that interest; and

(b) may by order provide for prohibiting or restricting the exercise of rights of way over the land, and of other rights relating thereto, which are enjoyed by any person, whether by virtue of an interest in the land or otherwise.

The power of the competent authority under this section to authorise the use of land for any purpose shall include the power to authorise a person or co-operative society carrying on any business or undertaking to occupy and use the land for the purposes of that business or undertaking upon such terms as may be agreed between such person or co-operative society and the competent authority.

[S 4 am by s 3 of Act 55 of 1961.]

5. Compensation payable in respect of requisitioned land.

Compensation, assessed in accordance with the provisions hereinafter contained in that behalf, shall be paid in respect of the taking of possession and the occupation of any land possession of which is taken under section 2 of this Act or is deemed to be taken by virtue of that section.

6. Amount of compensation.

(1) The amount of the compensation payable as provided in section 5 in respect of any land shall be—

(a) a sum equal to the rent which might reasonably be expected to be payable by a tenant in occupation of the land, during the period for which possession of the land is retained by virtue of this Act, under a lease granted immediately before the beginning of that period, whereby the tenant undertook to pay all usual rates and taxes and to bear the cost of the repairs and insurance and the other expenses, if any, necessary to maintain the land in a state to command that rent; and

(b) a sum equal to the cost of making good any damage to the land which may have occurred during the period of which possession thereof is so retained (except in so far as the damage has been made good during that period by a person acting on behalf of the competent authority); and

(c) in a case where the land is agricultural land, a sum equal to the amount (if any) which might reasonably have been expected to be payable in addition to rent by an incoming tenant, in respect of things previously done for the purpose of the cultivation of the land, and in respect of seeds, cultivation, growing crops and other similar matters, under a lease of the land granted immediately before possession thereof was taken; and

(d) a sum equal to the amount of any expenses reasonably incurred, otherwise than on behalf of the competent authority, for the purpose of compliance with any directions given by the competent authority in connection with the taking of possession of the land:

Provided, however, that in computing for the purposes of paragraph (a) of this subsection the rent of any land of which possession is deemed to be taken by virtue of section 2 of this Act, no account shall be taken of any building or structure erected on the land before the appointed date by a person acting on behalf of a competent authority under the Defence (Miscellaneous) Regulations;

Provided, further, that in the case of the land or lands specified in each entry in column I of the Schedule to this Act the rent payable for the purposes of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) during the period for which possession of such land or lands is retained by virtue of this Act shall be the amount specified in the corresponding entry in column II of that Schedule;

[S 6(1) second proviso ins by s 4 of Act 55 of 1961.]

Provided, further, that in the case of any land, being premises to which the Rent Act applies, the amount of the rent computed for the purposes of paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not exceed the authorised rent of the premises as determined under that Act.

(2) Any compensation under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) shall be considered as accruing due from day to day during the period for which the possession of the land is retained by virtue of this Act, and be apportion able in respect of time accordingly, and shall be paid to the person who for the time being would be entitled to occupy the land but for the fact that possession thereof is retained by virtue of this Act; but this subsection shall not operate so as to require the making of payments at intervals of less than one month in arrear.

For the purposes of any written law relating to income tax and any written law relating to tax or rates leviable on land, and, in particular, for the purposes of any such written law relating to the deduction of tax or rates from rent, any compensation under the said paragraph (a) shall be deemed to be rent payable for the land, the State shall be deemed to pay it as tenant occupier, and the person receiving it shall be deemed to receive it as landlord.

(2A) No compensation shall be payable under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) for any damage done to any land of which possession is deemed to be taken under section 2 of this Act by reason of the demolition of any building or structure which was erected on that land before the appointed date by a competent authority or any person acting on his behalf during the period for which that land was in the occupation of such competent authority or person under the Defence (Miscellaneous) Regulations as having effect whether before or after February 24, 1946.

[S 6(2A) ins by s 4 of Act 55 of 1961.]

(3) Any compensation under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) shall accrue due at the end of the period for which possession of the land is retained by virtue of this Act, and shall be paid to the person who is then the owner of the land.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding provisions of this section, the maximum amount of the compensation payable in any case under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) shall be an amount equal to the market value which the land would have had on the date of the termination of the period for which possession of the land is retained by virtue of this Act, if until that date it had remained in the original condition in which it was on the date on which possession thereof was first taken by a competent authority under this Act, or on which possession thereof was deemed to be taken by virtue of section 2 of this Act:

Provided, however, that where the competent authority is of opinion—

(a) that, if the land had remained in such original condition, its market value at any time during the period for which possession thereof was retained by virtue of this Act would have been higher than such maximum amount as aforesaid; and

(b) that, having regard to the circumstances referred to in paragraph (a), the limitation of the compensation to such maximum amount would be inequitable,

the competent authority may in his discretion determine that, in addition to the compensation payable under paragraph (b) of subsection (1), there shall be awarded as special additional compensation an amount not exceeding the difference between (i) the highest market value which the land would have had during the period mentioned in paragraph (a), and (ii) such maximum amount as aforesaid.

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