West Bengal moves apex court on Singur land law



New Delhi: The West Bengal government Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court verdict holding the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act as unconstitutional and void.

The state government's petition sought the extension of the two months' period allowed by the high court to challenge its decision, so that status quo could be maintained.

The law was enacted by Mamata Banerjee's government to reclaim the land so that it could be returned to the farmers who had resisted the takeover of their lands and had not even accepted the compensation in lieu of that.

The high court had struck down the act June 22. However, the high court suspended the operation of its verdict for two months so that the government could move the apex court in appeal.

The farmers, who collectively owned 269 acres of land, did not take compensation in lieu of acquisition and initiated litigation for the return of their lands.

It was in aid of these farmers that the West Bengal government stepped in and enacted the Singur land law.

The land was acquired by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corp and given to Tata Motors for the Nano small car project.

The West Bengal government then headed by the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front in 2006 acquired 997.11 acres, of which Tata Motor was given 645.67 acres.

Tata Motors moved out of Singur later and on the invitation of Gujarat government set up their plant in Sanand near Ahmedabad.

The West Bengal government contended that "despite possession being handed over to Tata Motors and its approved vendors, the small car project could not be set up by them".

The division bench of the high court, which set aside the Singur land law, also reversed its earlier decision upholding the Singur statute.

IANS