The Supreme Court on Friday will hear a plea filed by the West Bengal Government against Tata Motors in connection with the Singur land acquisition case. Earlier, the top court had cancelled the deal through which the former Left Front government in West Bengal had given land in Singur to Tata Motors in 2006. The apex court told the West Bengal Government to hand the land back to the farmers in 12 weeks.
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The ruling further stated that farmers do not have to return the compensation they have received from the government because they were deprived of their livelihood for a decade.
Describing the top court’s ruling as a ‘landmark decision’, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “I am remembering those people who made sacrifices fighting for this. This is a landmark victory after we thought of the new name for state of West Bengal. I am very happy with the decision.”
Banerjee, after coming to power, passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, to take over the land given to the Tata’s by the previous government.
The Tata Group was given around a thousand acres of land by the then state government in 2006 to build a car manufacturing factory, but in the wake of violent protests from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the project was shelved.
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 TMC-led state government was declared unconstitutional on appeal. After that, the dispute moved to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of the farmers.