What kind of advice or information can I obtain from the Appeals Board?
The Appeals Board is an independent tribunal which hears and determines appeals against awards made by the Collector of Land Revenue concerning compulsory land acquisition. Thus, the Appeals Board is not able to and does not give legal advice to any person. You are advised to engage a lawyer if you require legal advice on whether you should lodge an appeal, the merits of your appeal, and the presentation of your case.
What happens on the date of the appeal hearing?
By the time your appeal is fixed for hearing before the Appeals Board, directions would have been given by the Registrar at pre-hearing conferences for exchange of expert reports, witness statements, and/or written submissions, if required. On the date of the hearing, you or your lawyer will be entitled to raise the appropriate arguments in support of your case. The Collector of Land Revenue will be called upon to respond to the arguments made by you or your lawyer.
If you fail to make out a case to show on the face of your case that the Collector of Land Revenue’s award is inadequate, the Appeals Board may dismiss the appeal without calling upon the Collector of Land Revenue to make submissions (Regulations 11(2) of the Land Acquisition (Appeals Board Regulations).
After hearing all the arguments made, the Appeals Board will then give its written decision on whether to confirm, reduce, increase or annul the award, or make such order as it deems fit.
Under Regulation 12 of the Land Acquisition (Appeals Board) Regulations, if you or the Collector of Land Revenue does not appear at the hearing of your appeal, the Appeals Board may, as it thinks fit, dismiss or allow your appeal and make such order as to costs as may be just.
If you are unable to attend your appeal hearing by reason of sickness or other reasonable cause, you should inform the Appeals Board at least five days prior to the date of your appeal hearing that you will be absent for the hearing and the reason for your absence. The Appeals Board may adjourn the hearing for hearing at a later date if it is satisfied that you are unable to attend by reason of sickness or other reasonable cause (see Regulation 10(3) of the Land Acquisition (Appeals Board) Regulations).
Do take note that a decision made in your absence by the Appeals Board may be set aside and your appeal may be reinstated only if you make an application within 7 days of its decision and prove to the satisfaction of the Appeals Board that you had sufficient reasons for your absence.