After the new government took over the reins of the West Bengal, it passed a new bill known as the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011; the bill allows the government to take possession of land and return it to the original owners.
The previous, Marxist, government had acquired 1,000 acres to set up Nano project. A large chunk of farmers held that the Left government forcibly took their land to give it to the Tatas.
The vacation Bench comprising justices P Sathasivam an A K Patnaik said “As an interim order, we direct the state government not to hand over or return land to farmers concerned until further order passed by the Calcutta High Court".
The Bench stated that this was just an 'interim arrangement' and should not be considered as an opinion on the merits of the case.
“We are not inclined to interfere at this stage on the main issues pending before the high court," it said.
Thus it was clear that the judgeswere passing a limited interim order. And had asked the High Court to proceed with the main matter where the Tatas have challenged the new law enacted by the Mamata Banerjee government for taking possession of land and distributing it to farmers who were the original owners.
The Bench observed that it was granting interim protection as senior counsel P P Rao, appeared for the state government. He said the possession, of land, will remain in the hands of state government till the High Court finalizes on the ssues.
The Bench observed it is not a question of political issues but a question of rights.
Meanwhile development in Calcutta reported by a newspaper was as following "replying to the Tata Motors petition challenging the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, the state government on Tuesday told the Calcutta High Court said it had not done any wrong by introducing the new Act. The government said it was not against the Tatas but in favour of farmers. Tata Motors counsel Samaraditya Pal had raised the point that there was a conflict between the new Act and the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. Countering the argument, government counsel Ashoke Banerjee said the TMC had declared in its election manifesto that land would be returned to unwilling farmers and after coming to power, the party is acting on its promise."
View: This verdict will be closely followed by the businesses and the policy makers alike.
The other important aspect of this case will be that it will be affect on how companies view West Bengal.