Amendments to the “Gujarat Disturbed Area Act” get the President’s Assent.

The President of India, Ramnath kovind, gave assent to the Gujarat Distributed Area act (Amendment) Bill 2019. This new act will amend the prohibition of transfer of immovable property and provision for protection of tenants from eviction from premises in disturbed areas act 1991. The act was first introduced in Ahmedabad in 1986 because of large scale and continuous riots in the City.

Salient features of the amendment

  • The primary objective of the act is to look for the elements that causes demographic imbalances in the region.
  •  It also seeks to stop polarisation.
  • It will prohibit sale of property from one religious community to another religious community particulary in the disturbed areas.
  • These amendment prohibits the transfer of  immovable property in disturbed areas and protect the tenants from vacating the property.
  • An offender of the act would have to pay a fine of one lakh rupees or 10% of value of the property.
  • There is also a provision of imprisoned for 3 to 5 years for acquiring properties to illegal means in disturbed areas.

Need of the amendment

Several complaints were received by the government officials on violation of the provisions of the act. Offenders were taking advantages of the loopholes. Earlier the district collector had to look for the seller selling the property personally. But it was highlighted that various anti-social elements were buying and selling properties forcefully. Thus the act is being amended to correct the loopholes.

Disturbed areas

An area can be declared  as a disturbed area by the district collector. It is decided based on the history of communal riots in that area. In the disturbed areas, transfer of assets cannot be done without approval of the district collector. The disturbed area act of Gujarat is applicable to areas such as Vadodara, Surat, Godhra, Ahmedabad, Himmatnagar, Bharuch and kapadvanj, currently.