Defence Act 1954

Compulsory acquisition of land or rights over land.

33

33. (1) If and whenever the Minister thinks proper to acquire compulsorily any land or right over land for the purposes of this Act, he may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, by order declare his intention to so acquire such land or right over land, and every such order shall operate to confer on the Minister power to acquire compulsorily the land or the right over land mentioned therein under and in accordance with this section.

(2) Compensation shall be paid by the Minister for land compulsorily acquired by the Minister under this section to the several persons having estates or interests therein and for any right over land compulsorily acquired by the Minister under this section to the owner thereof, and such compensation shall, in default of agreement (which agreement shall be subject to the consent of the Minister for Finance), be determined under and in accordance with the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919, and for this purpose the Minister shall be deemed to be a public authority within the meaning of the said Act.

(3) ( a) At any time after the Minister becomes entitled under subsection (1) of this section to acquire compulsorily any land or right over land and before conveyance or ascertainment of compensation, the Minister may, subject to the subsequent provisions of this subsection, enter on and take possession of that land or terminate that right.

( b) Where the Minister exercises any power conferred on him by paragraph ( a) of this subsection, then—

(i) subject to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, the Minister shall pay to the person, who is the occupier of the land entered on or the owner of the right over land terminated, interest on the amount of the compensation payable to such person at the rate of three per cent. per annum from the date on which such power was exercised until payment of such compensation,

(ii) if—

(I) the Minister has made an unconditional offer in writing of any sum as such compensation to such person, and

(II) the offer is not accepted by such person, and

(III) the sum awarded as compensation by the official arbitrator to such person does not exceed the sum so offered,

no interest shall be payable on such compensation in respect of any period after the date of the offer.

( c) The Minister shall not—

(i) enter on or take possession of any land under paragraph ( a) of this subsection without giving to the occupier thereof at least one months’s or, in case of an occupied dwellinghouse, three months’ previous notice in writing of his intention to do so, or

(ii) terminate any right over land under paragraph ( a) of this subsection without giving the owner thereof at least one month’s notice of his intention to do so.

( d) A notice under paragraph ( c) of this subsection may be given to any person by sending it by post in an envelope addressed to that person at his usual or last known address.

( e) Where, for any reason, the envelope mentioned in paragraph ( d) of this subsection cannot be addressed in the manner provided by that paragraph, it may be addressed to the person for whom it is intended in either or both of the following ways—

(i) by the description “ the occupier” or “ the owner” (as the case may be) without stating his name,

(ii) at the land or the situation of the property to which the notice contained in the envelope relates.