Land Acquisition Law Threatens Citizens in Coastal Areas

Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah pounding the gavel to open the petition revision hearing of the judicial review of the Land Acquisition Law, Monday (11/6/2023). Photo by MKRI/Fauzan.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) held another panel hearing for the judicial review of Law No. 2 of 2012 on Land Acquisition for Development for Public Interest (Land Acquisition Law). The panel petition revision hearing for Case No. 137/PUU-XXI/2023 was held on Monday, November 6, 2023

The hearing was presided over by Constitutional Justices M. Guntur Hamzah (panel chair), Manahan M.P. Sitompul, and Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh. At the hearing, the Petitioner’s legal counsel, Rahman, said the revision to petition against Article 9 paragraph (1), Article 10, and Article 14 paragraph (1) of the Land Acquisition Law, which includes the addition of one petitioner by the name of Amrin Esarey. There was only one petitioner previously, Indra Afgha Anjani.

Rahman added that the Land Acquisition Law threatens citizens in coastal areas and its enforcement could impoverish communities through land seizures.

“So, development activities for the public interest as stated in Article 10 letter a through r of the Land Acquisition Law have manipulated the public interest,” said one of the Petitioners’ legal counsels who attended the hearing online.

Next, the Petitioners explained the Article 14 paragraph (1) of the Land Acquisition Law is inconsistent with Article 33 paragraph (3) of the 1945 Constitution, specifically “the level of people’s participation in determining the benefits of natural resources.” They also asserted that Article 21 paragraph (1) has eliminated public participation in submitting objections to development plans. Therefore, it could potentially eliminate the legal rights of the community to defend their rights in a fair, balanced, and proportional manner. Therefore, they alleged, it is inconsistent with Article 27 paragraph (1) and Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution.

Also read: Rempang Eco City Case Goes to Court

Petition No. 137/PUU-XXI/2023 was filed by two Batam citizens, Indra Afgha Anjani and Amrin Esarey. The Petitioners materially challenge Article 9 paragraph (1), Article 10, and Article 14 paragraph (1) of Law No. 2 of 2012 on Land Acquisition for Development for Public Interest (Land Acquisition Law). Article 9 paragraph (1) reads, “The implementation of land acquisition for public interests shall pay attention to the balance between development interests and community interests.”

At the preliminary hearing on Tuesday, October 24, the Petitioner’s legal counsel, Muhammad Iqbal Kholidin, said the norm did not clearly define “development interests and community interests.” The Petitioners assert that concrete impact of the norm can be seen from the Rempang Eco City development, which is a national strategic project (PSN).

In reality, they assert, the state has a constitutional obligation to redistribute land through agrarian policies in order to create social justice. Besides that, it also has a legal obligation to redistribute land to people who do not own land. In short, for project developments, the communities impacted should actually receive compensation. However, this has not fully been implemented due to discriminatory actions that could potentially violate the customary rights of communities in coastal areas, which are guaranteed by Article 28I paragraphs (3) and (4) of the 1945 Constitution.

Therefore, in the petitum, the Petitioners request the Court to order the termination of the Rempang Eco City PSN project or at least declare it suspended.

Furthermore, in the petitum on the subject matter, the Petitioners ask the Constitutional Court to declare Law No. 2 of 2012 on Land Acquisition for Public Interest unconstitutional and not legally binding.

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Tiara Agustina
Translator  : Najwa Afifah Lukman/Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Monday, November 06, 2023 | 15:51 WIB 109