Supreme Court quashes Singur Tata plant land acquisition, orders Bengal govt to return it in 12 weeks

Calling it “grossly perverse and illegal,” the Supreme Court Wednesday quashed the decision of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharya-led CPM government in 2006 to acquire 1,000 acres in Singur for allotting it to Tata Motors to set up its Nano car factory.

The acquisition had become the CPM government’s touchstone for a dramatic shift in policy to attract investment. It set off a protracted agitation by farmers and the then Opposition Trinamool Congress which forced the project to leave the state for Gujarat.

A bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra agreed with each other to set aside the acquisition proceeding but gave different reasons to maintain that the entire acquisition was vitiated by non-compliance with provisions of the Land Acquisition Act.

Both judges also held unanimously that possession of the land shall be given back to the landowners or cultivators within 12 weeks, and added that compensation already paid to them on account of the acquisition shall not be recovered since “they have been deprived of the occupation and enjoyment of their lands for the last ten years”.

Source: Indian Express. Date: September 1, 2016