SC strikes down Left’s Singur land deal; Mamata elated

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Singur Nano Plant siteSupreme Court on August 31 set aside the land acquired by the West Bengal government in 2006 to help Tata Motors up its Nano plant. The announcement comes as a big set-back for Tata Group.

In a ruling, the Supreme Court has instructed the state government to take possession of the land from Tatas and distribute it to farmers. The court said that the process should be done within a time frame of 12 weeks.

The court also said, “Farmers who received compensation from the government will not return it as they were deprived of their livelihood for the past 10 years.”

The SC also said that Tata had bypassed the rules, while acquiring the land. A collection of petitions had challenged the land acquisition in Singur for the Tata Motors’ ambitious Nano car manufacturing factory.

The bench of Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice Arun Mishra pronounced the verdict supported by some petitions. The petitions were filed as early as 2008 by a number of afflicted people.

The land, running into 1,000 acres, was acquired by the then Buddhadeb Bhattacharya government in 2006 to facilitate the Tatas to set up Nano small car manufacturing unit.

Soon after coming to power in 2011, ruling Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had vowed to bring back the acquired land to the farmers, focused on moving the Tata project out of West Bengal to Sanad district in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, an elated Mamata Banerjee, who had convened a strategy meeting on September 1 over the Singur land acquisition, told ANI, “This is a landmark victory. We waited for 10 years for this verdict It is a victory of farmers. I am remembering all those who had sacrificed their lives during this time. I expect everyone to celebrate this Singur Utsav.