THE CONTROL OF NATIONAL HIGHWAYS (LAND AND TRAFFIC) ACT, 2002
[Act, No. 13 of 2003]
[14th January, 2003]
An Act to provide for control of land within the National Highways, right of way and traffic moving on the National Highways and also for removal of unauthorised occupation thereon.
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-third Year of the Republic of India as follows:--
Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement
(1) This Act may be called the Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act.
Section 2. Definitions
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--
(a) "appointed day", in relation to a Tribunal, means the date on which such Tribunal is established under sub-section (1) of section 5;
(b) "building" means any work of construction done in any manner by use of any material and includes a farm building for agricultural purposes, plinth, doorstep, wall, drain, advertisement board and other things fixed with such building;
(c) "construct" with its grammatical variations, in relation to a building, means to construct, reconstruct, erect, re-erect, extend or alter structurally a building;
(d) "cost of land" means the market value of the land as determined by the competent authority of the State Government or the Government of the Union territory appointed for such determination, as the case may be;
(e) "Highway" means a National Highway declared as such under section 2 of the National Highways Act, 1956 (48 of 1956) and includes any Expressway or Express Highway vested in the Central Government, whether surfaced or unsurfaced, and also includes--
(i) all lands appurtenant to the Highway, whether demarcated or not, acquired for the purpose of the Highway or transferred for such purpose by the State Government to the Central Government;
(ii) all bridges, culverts, tunnels, causeways, carriageways and other structures constructed on or across such Highway; and
(iii) all trees, railings, fences, posts, paths, signs, signals, kilometre stones and other Highway accessories and materials on such Highways;
(f) "Highway Administration" means the Highway Administration established under section 3;
(g) "highway land" means the land of which the Central Government is, or is deemed to be, the owner under sub-section (1) of section 23;
(h) "land" includes benefits arising out of land and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth;
(i) "means of access" means any permanent means of access, whether private or public, for vehicles of any kind;
(j) "premises" means any land or building or part of a building and includes--
(i) the garden, grounds and outhouses, if any, appertaining to such building or part of a building; and
(ii) any fittings affixed to such building or part of a building for the more beneficial enjoyment thereof;
(k) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(l) "Tribunal" means the National Highways Tribunal established under sub-section (1) of section 5;
(m) "unauthorised occupation" means any occupation of the highway land, without permission under this Act for such purpose, by a person who--
(i) is trespasser on the Highway; or
(ii) for the time being is paying or is liable to pay to other person rent or any portion of the rent of the premises on a Highway; or
(iii) lives in or otherwise uses any premises on a Highway; or
(iv) is a rent-free tenant of any premises on a Highway; or
(v) is a licensee of any premises on a Highway for its possession; or
(vi) is liable to pay damages to the owner of any premises on a Highway for the use or possession of such premises;
(n) "vehicle" means a barrow, sledge, plough, drag and any wheeled or tracked conveyance of any description capable of being used on a Highway.
Section 3. Establishment of Highway Administrations
(1) The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette,--
(a) establish, for the purposes of this Act, a body or authority consisting of one or more officers of the Central Government or the State Government to be known as Highway Administration to exercise powers and discharge functions conferred on it under this Act; and
(b) define the limits of the Highway, within which, or the length of Highway on which, a Highway Administration shall have jurisdiction:
Provided that the Central Government may, in the notification issued under this sub-section or by any general or special order, impose any condition or limitation subject to which a Highway Administration shall exercise powers and discharge functions conferred on it under this Act.
(2) The Central Government may establish one or more Highway Administrations for a State or Union territory or for a Highway under sub-section (1).
(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Highway Administration shall exercise powers and discharge functions conferred on it under this Act in such manner as may be prescribed.
Section 4. Powers and functions of Highway Administration
A Highway Administration shall exercise powers and discharge functions throughout its jurisdiction specified under this Act subject to such conditions or limitations as may be imposed by the notification issued under sub-section (1) of section 3 and by any general or special order made in this behalf by the Central Government.
Section 5. Establishment of Tribunals
(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish one or more Tribunals, to be known as the National Highways Tribunal, to exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on such Tribunal by or under this Act.
(2) The Central Government shall also specify, in the notification referred to in sub-section (1), the limits of the Highway within which, or the length of Highway on which, the Tribunal may exercise jurisdiction for entertaining and deciding the appeals filed before it.
Section 6. Composition of Tribunal
(1) A Tribunal shall consist of one person only (hereinafter referred to as the Presiding Officer) to be appointed, by notification in the Official Gazette, by the Central Government.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Central Government may authorise the Presiding Officer of one Tribunal to discharge also the functions of the Presiding Officer of another Tribunal.
Section 7. Qualifications for appointment as Presiding Officer
A person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Presiding Officer of a Tribunal unless he--
(a) is qualified to be a Judge of a High Court; or
(b) has been a member of the Indian Legal Service and has held a post not less than Grade II of that Service.
Section 8. Term of office
The Presiding Officer of a Tribunal shall hold office from the date on which he enters upon his office till he attains the age of sixty-two years.
Section 9. Staff of Tribunal
(1) The Central Government shall provide the Tribunal with such officers and employees as that Government thinks fit.
(2) The officers and employees of a Tribunal shall discharge their functions under general superintendence of the Presiding Officer.
(3) The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of the officers and employees of a Tribunal shall be such as may be prescribed.
Section 10. Salary and allowances and other terms and conditions of service of Presiding Officer
The salary and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service including pension, gratuity and other retirement benefits of, the Presiding Officer of a Tribunal shall be such as may be prescribed:
Provided that neither the salary and allowances nor the other terms and conditions of service of the Presiding Officer shall be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
Section 11. Vacancies in Tribunal
If, for any reason other than temporary absence, any vacancy occurs in the office of the Presiding Officer of a Tribunal, then, the Central Government shall appoint another person in accordance with the provisions of this Act to fill the vacancy and the proceedings may be continued before the Tribunal from the stage at which the vacancy is filled.
Section 12. Resignation and removal
(1) The Presiding Officer of a Tribunal may, by notice in writing under his hand addressed to the Central Government, resign his office:
Provided that the said. Presiding Officer shall, unless he is permitted by the Central Government to relinquish his office sooner, continue to hold office until the expiry of three months from the date of receipt of such notice or until a person duly appointed as his successor enters upon his office or until the expiry of his term of office, whichever is earlier.
(2) The Presiding Officer of a Tribunal shall not be removed from his office except by an order made by the Central Government on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after an inquiry made by a Judge of a High Court, in which the Presiding Officer has been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.
(3) The Central Government may, by rules, regulate the procedure for the investigation of misbehaviour or incapacity of the Presiding Officer referred to in sub-section (2).