Singur war: Tatas vs Mamata in Supreme Court today

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court will today hear the plea of Tata Motors Limited for a stay on the distribution of Singur land by Mamata Banerjee’s government in West Bengal.

Tata Motors approached the Supreme Court on Tuesday after the Calcutta High Court refused its plea to restrain the West Bengal government from returning land to farmers in Singur.

The petition was mentioned before a vacation bench comprising justices P Sathasivam and AK Patnaik. The counsel submitted that the company is seeking a direction for the state government not to create third party interest in the land.

On Monday, the Calcutta High Court had refused to pass an interim stay order observing that the Tata Motors Limited’s petition had no specific statement as to when the process of land distribution would start.

Tata Motors had moved an ex-parte petition seeking stay on distribution of land expressing apprehension that it would be given back to “unwilling” farmers within a day or two.

Tata Motors want the Supreme Court to stay the Singur Act and stay the distribution of land to the farmers. It has accused the Mamata Banerjee government of violating the constitution and encroaching judicial power by bringing a law for distributing the Singur land acquired by Tatas.

Their petition says, “The law that enables the West Bengal government to return the land to farmers is illegal because as per settled law, acquired land can’t go back to the original owner.”

“West Bengal government forcibly evicted Tata Motors from Singur and the company had invested 1800 crore rupees and it is a blatant violation of natural justice,” it adds.

The petition also says that “no compensation has been paid by the state government” and that Mamata government can’t ignore the commitment made to Tata Motors by the Left government.

In the Singur Bill that was passed, Ms Banerjee had accused the Tatas of “non-commissioning and abandoning” their project. But the company disagrees strongly with this. In a statement earlier this month, Tata Motors said, “The operations of setting up and commissioning of the plant was conducted under very difficult conditions, amidst violence… there being no guarantee of a safe and peaceful environment, Tata had to reluctantly close operations on October 3, 2008.”


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