Supreme Court today cancelled Tata Motors' 1,000-acre land deal in Singhur which was acquired in 2006 with the previous CPM government led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The land acquisition deal was opposed by the TMC (Trinamool Congress) party chief Mamata Banerjee in 2011 and was supported by the protesting farmers. This compelled Tata Motors to shift the Nano manufacturing facility to Sanand in Gujarat.
Tata Motors had challenged this decision at the Calcutta High Court. However, the decision was upheld by the court and was declared unconstitutional by the TMC-led government back then. This decision was also challenged by the Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights which stated that the entire deal and the handing over of the land to the Indian car manufacturer was illegal and also breached the land acquisition law on multiple grounds.
According to the official procedure, land acquired by the government for public purpose can only be allocated to a private company only for construction houses for the staff working in the same company and cannot be used for any other purpose.
The Supreme Court cancelled the land deal citing that Tata Motors had bypassed the rules while acquiring the Singhur land. In addition, the SC ordered that the compensation that was given to the farmers would not be returned as the project deprived them of their livelihood for almost 10years.
Supreme Court's verdict brought in great joy for the farmers and locals. The locals were all praise for chief minister Mamata Banerjee who was leading the protest against Tata Motors.
We reached out to Tata Motors for an official statement, to which the company replied, "The case in which the judgment was delivered today, related to the acquisition of land by the state government, before it was leased to Tata Motors. Our case relating to Singur Act of 2011 is yet to be heard by the Supreme Court. We will study today's judgment in detail before commenting further on the same."