Singur land: SC to wait and watch outcome of election

The Supreme Court chose to wait and watch the outcome of Assembly polls in West Bengal before going into the contentious issue of land acquisition in Singur.

Last Updated: May 03, 2011, 21:27 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday chose to
wait and watch the outcome of Assembly polls in West Bengal
before going into the contentious issue of land acquisition in
Singur from where the Tata`s failed to roll out the world`s
cheapest car `Nano`.

"Wait until the elections are over," a bench of justices
R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik said.
The bench was to hear a bunch of petitions challenging
the acquisition of land by West Bengal government for setting
up of a factory by Tata Motors for manufacturing Nano in
Singur which went to polls today.

Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee had led a
campaign against the acquisition of fertile land for the
project which forced the Tatas to shift it to Gujarat.

The Bench, which deferred the hearing on the matter,
asked the West Bengal government to find an amicable solution
with the farmers and organisations opposing acquisition of
land in Singur which had witnessed violent protest in 2008.

"One or the other way, you (state government) find a
solution," the bench said while posting the matter for hearing
after the summer vacation. Meanwhile, Prashant Bhushan, the counsel appearing for
an NGO, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights,
alleged the state government had wrongly acquired the land
from the farmers.

"We have already challenged the entire acquisition
process before the high court. The West Bengal government
acquired the land for government purpose but gave to a private
party (Tata)," he said.

On October 29, 2010, the Tatas had submitted before
the Supreme Court that the land allocated for the project
still belongs to it, which could be used for some other
purpose.
"Tata`s got lease. We are still there. We have spent
crores of rupees and have our infrastructure there. It could
be used for some other purpose", Tata Motors had submitted.

Tata had said that despite having a lease deed for 90
years in its favour for 646 acres of land, there was no
activity and the company was paying a rent of Rs one crore
every year.

"We have lost Rs 500 crores. We have a valid lease and
are losing money," its advocate had said.

Tata`s submission had come after those opposing the
acquisition of fertile multi-crop agricultural land contended
since the company has moved the project outside Singur, the
land should be returned to West Bengal government for giving
it back to the farmers.

PTI