Tata pulls Mamata's govt to court over Singur
By SiliconIndia | Thursday, 23 June 2011, 12:23 Hrs
A government notice was served at the gate of the Tatas' factory, asking it to vacate the premises.
The Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, which came into force on 21st of June, cancelled the 997.17-acre land lease given to the company by the erstwhile Left Front government for the small car-manufacturing plant in Hooghly district's Singur.
The law vested the land in the state government, which evicted the automobile giant from the plant.
In a petition before Justice Soumitra Pal in Calcutta High court, Tata Motors sought a stay on the operation of the act besides restoration of status quo ante in the factory premises.
Moving a 562-page petition, lawyer Samaraditya Pal prayed for appointment of a special officer for taking possession of the land and prayed for freezing government activities at the site.
He said his client apprehended damage to property as the premises were unguarded.
Government counsel Kalyan Banerjee said: 'It is most astonishing to know that on the one hand you are saying you were forcibly evicted and on the other you say the premises are unguarded.'
The court, after getting an assurance from Advocate General Anindya Mitra that steps had been taken to maintain peace at the disputed site, asked the government to ensure tranquility.
Challenging the act, Tata Motors said it was 'bad in law' and alleged that it was notified by the government but not publicised. The notification was kept hidden, he contended.
'The object of the act is based on total misrepresentation. The very people who created lawlessness which forced us to relocate, when they come to power, what they do? They come up with this act. The act is bordering on something ridiculous.'
State government pleader sought more time for replying.
The petition followed fast-paced developments Tuesday, a day after Governor M.K. Narayanan gave his assent to the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill, 2011.
The state assembly June 14 passed the bill that was designed to keep the Trinamool Congress regime's pre-poll promise of returning 400 acres land to the farmers from whom the Left Front government allegedly took it against their will. The land was acquired for setting up the now abandoned Tata Motors car factory.
On Tuesday, the government notified the act and put up a notice on a factory gate saying the land stood vested in it.
Tata Motors also put up a notice on another factory gate informing that any visit by officials 'should be made after giving a five hours' notice during daylight hours'.
The Calcutta High Court has finally adjourned the hearing of Tata Motors petition challenging the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011.
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