SC notice to Tata Motors on Singur land
New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to Tata Motors on a petition of the West Bengal government challenging a Calcutta High Court order that held as unconstitutional its Singur land act to reclaim 400 acres given to the company.
A bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice C.K. Prasad, however, said the high court's interim order allowing the state government to keep the possession of the land would continue.
The Calcutta High Court, while holding the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, unconstitutional in a June 22 order, had given the West Bengal government two months to appeal in the apex court and allowed the government the possession of the land till then.
The West Bengal government Monday moved the apex court against the high court verdict holding the Singur act unconstitutional and void.
The act was passed by the Mamata Banerjee government to reclaim the lands so that these could be returned to the farmers who had resisted the takeover and had not even accepted the compensation for their lands.
The farmers who collectively owned 269 acres of land and who had refused to part with their lands and have so far not taken compensation had initiated the litigation for the return of their lands.
The then left Front state government in 2006 acquired 997.11 acres of land, of which Tata Motor was given 645.67 acres for setting up its ambitious small car project.
The land was acquired by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation and in turn was given to Tata Motors.
Recounting the sequence of events leading to Tata Motor Limited abandoning its project in Singur, the West Bengal government contended that "despite possession being handed over to the Tata Motor and its approved vendors, the small car project could not be set up by them".
This, the petition said, clearly frustrated the public purpose sought to be achieved by acquiring the lands and handing it over to Tata Motors to set up the Nano car project.
"Thus the public purpose for the acquisition of lands stood completely and irreversibly defeated and frustrated," the petition said.
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