Singur Tata plant verdict: SC return land to farmers

Apex court said today that land acquired for Tata nano plant in Singur should be remitted back to farmers within 12 weeks. Also the Farmers who got compensation from the government will not return it because they were deprived of their livelihood for the last ten years, the court said.

Complete history of case:

Here is what happened in the case:

Tata Nano Singur Controversy refers to the controversy generated by land acquisition of the proposed Nano factory of Tata Motors at Singur in Hooghly district, West Bengal, India.

Singur gained international media attention since Tata Motors started constructing a factory to manufacture their 1 lakh rupees car, the Tata Nano at Singur. The small car was scheduled to roll out of the factory by 2008.

The state government of West Bengal facilitated the controversy by using 1894 land acquisition act rule to conduct an eminent domain takeover of 997 acres (4.03 km2) of farmland to have Tata build its factory. The rule is meant for public improvement projects, and the West Bengal government wanted Tata to build in its state. The project was opposed by activists and opposition parties in Bengal.

The CPM government in 2006 announced in May that year that Tata would setup a car manufacturing unit for Nano model for which close to 1000 acres of land would be allocated. TMC chief Mamata Benarjee create an havoc and started the protest against the land grabbing by the Tata group.

In 2007, Tata group started construction of the nano plant in Singur.

Tata Motors announced the launch of Nano at Delhi auto expo on January 10, 2008.

In 2008, The Calcutta High Court upheld the land allocation by the government to Tata saying it wasn’t illegal. Tata had announced to push its first Nano car out of Singur.

Same year, Tata announced to move its plant to Sanand in Gujarat citing security reasons to continue production in Singur.

In 2011, Mamata Benarjee came in power and made the Cabinet decision to return 400 acres of land to “unwilling farmers”.

The TMC-led government passed Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill, 2011. Tata moved to Calcutta High Court challenging the Bill. The HC upheld the Bill following which Tata moved the court again challenging its orders.

In 2012, a Division bench of the Calcutta High Court shot down the bill after the West Bengal government moved Supreme Court challenging the HC order. The apex court had sought response of Tata Motors on a special leave petition filed by the West Bengal government, challenging the rejection of the Singur Land Acquisition Act by the Calcutta High Court. A bench of H L Dattu and C K Prasad said the Calcutta High Court’s interim order would continue.

In 2013, the Supreme Court asked Tata Motors to consider returning the land as the company had already moved its car plant out of Singur. Tata Motors told SC that it wanted to retain land in Singur for the Nano project.

In May 2016, the SC observed that the Left Front-led Bengal government rushed through the land acquisition process. On August 31, the Supreme Court 22qq2q22222q12quashed the land acquisition to Tata by CPM government in 2006, setting aside the Calcutta High Court order.

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