M A I N   N E W S

SC stays return of Singur land to farmers

New Delhi, June 29
Tata Motors’ today got “interim protection” from the Supreme Court that stopped the newly elected West Bengal Government from returning to farmers the land acquired for the automobile major’s Nano project in Singur.

“Our interim protection is for some time,” the apex court said noting that the main matter against the state government on the issue of possession and distribution of the land to the orginal owners was pending before the Calcutta High Court.

“As an interim order, we direct the state government not to hand over or return land to the farmers concerned until further order by the high court,” a Vacation Bench comprising Justices P Sathasivam an AK Patnaik said.

The Bench said it was making it clear that this was an “interim arrangement” and it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case.

The judges said they were passing a “limited interim order” and asking the high court to proceed with the main matter in which the Tatas had 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.

Hours after the order, the Chief Minister said the apex court did not stop land survey and the “process of distribution of land”.

A report from Singur said since the order was yet to reach to the authorities, survey and ground-levelling work continued with over 150 farmers submitting forms for reclaiming their holdings.

During the hearing, the Bench sought to keep itself away from expressing its view on the merits of the case, saying since the main issues were pending before the high court, it was not inclined to go into them.

“We are not inclined to interfere at this stage on the main issues pending before the high court,” it said. — PTI





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