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Constitution bench to interpret Land Acquisition Act to begin hearing on Oct 15

Conflicting decisions in the matter by two three-judge benches had snowballed into a row in early 2018, forcing the Supreme Court to refer it to a five-judge Constitution bench.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justices Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and Ravindra Bhat will hear matters relating to correctness of the interpretation of Section 24 of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (Land Acquisition Act, 2013) from October 15.

Conflicting decisions in the matter by two three-judge benches had snowballed into a row in early 2018, forcing the Supreme Court to refer it to a five-judge Constitution bench.

The two decisions had come from a bench of former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha and Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph (all retired since), and another bench of Justices Arun Mishra, A K Goel (retired since) and Mohan M Shantanagoudar.

Later, the matter was referred to then CJI Dipak Misra, who placed it before a five-judge Constitution bench comprising himself and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.

But as this bench was hearing the Aadhaar case, the matter was adjourned. Subsequently, Justice Sikri also retired.

On April 2 this year, it came up before a bench of CJI Rajan Gogoi and Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna, which adjourned it as the questions required to be answered had not been formulated. Justice Ramana now heads the five-judge Constitution bench which will hear petitions challenging amendments to Article 370 while CJI Gogoi and Justices Chandrachud and Bhushan are part of the Constitution bench hearing the Ayodhya case.

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