New Delhi/Nagpur: In a landmark judgement, Supreme Court quashed Singur land acquisition by West Bengal government in 2006, handing Tata Motors a big setback. The apex court told WB goverment to hand the land back to the farmers, giving it 12 week time to do so.
The 1000 acre land was acquired by the Buddhadeb Bhattacharya government in 2006 to facilitate the Tatas to set up its Nano car manufacturing plant.
In May this year, Justices Gopala Gowda and Arun Kumar Mishra had heard the pleas of the Tatas, the Bengal government and the aggrieved farmers of Singur and had reserved their judgement.
During the hearing, Justice Gowda had mentioned that agricultural land can be acquired for industry, but it is better to avoid the use of multi-crop producing land for such an activity.
Justice Mishra observed that the Singur plot was acquired for the Tatas, though it was meant for ‘public purpose’.
Congress leader and counsel for the Tatas, Abhishek Manu Singhvi had said that the land was handed over to the Tatas in the ‘public interest’.
The Tata group was given around a thousand acres by the state government in 2006 to build a car manufacturing factory, but in the wake of violent protests from the Trinamool Congress Party, the project was shelved.
Soon after coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee passed a law to take over the land and forced the Tata’s to move their project out of the state to Gujarat’s Sanad district.
Tata Motors moved the Calcutta High Court challenging the law. The acquisition of the land was upheld by a trial court and the law passed by the Trinamool Congress-led state government was declared unconstitutional on appeal.
Thereafter, the dispute moved to the Supreme Court.