ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

History of Eminent Domain in Colonial Thought and Legal Practice

This paper explores the prehistory of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. By focusing on colonial Calcutta, it traces the emergence, development and various legal justifications of the principle of eminent domain under the East India Company rule. It describes the legal, bureaucratic and often extralegal methods employed to enact land acquisition law and documents the processes and narrative fictions that coalesced into our present understandings of the state's relation to land and law's relation to ethics. It also throws light upon the workings of the "reality" that law constructed and enacted in devising the principle of eminent domain.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top