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Tata Motors Moves SC On Singur

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Tata Motors on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court order refusing its plea to restrain West Bengal government from distributing land to farmers in Singur.

The petition was mentioned before a vacation bench comprising justices P Sathasivam and A K Patnaik which posted the matter for hearing tomorrow. The bench accepted the plea of Tata's counsel to file the petition later in the day.

The counsel submitted that the company is seeking a direction for the state government not to create third party interest in the land.

The Calcutta High Court had yesterday refused to pass an interim stay order observing that the Tata Motors Limited petition had no specific statement as to when the process of land distribution would start.

The high court had noted the petitioner had submitted that if the prayer was not allowed and land distributed, the original petition challenging the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 would become infructuous.

Tata Motors had moved an ex-parte petition seeking stay on distribution of land expressing apprehension that it would be given back to "unwilling" farmers within a day or two.

HC Refuses To Stay Singur Land Distribution
The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday refused to pass an interim order restraining the West Bengal government from distributing land to farmers in Singur which it took back from Tata Motors by enacting a law.

Justice Saumitra Pal refused to pass the interim stay observing that the court found that in the Tata Motors Limited petition, no specific statement had been made that the process of land distribution would start from tomorrow.

Justice Pal noted the petitioner has submitted that if the prayer was not allowed and land distributed, the original petition challenging the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 would become infructuous.

Tata Motors counsel Samaraditya Pal moved an ex-parte petition seeking stay on distribution of land expressing apprehension that it would be distributed to "unwilling" farmers within a day or two.

He submitted that forms have been distributed by the administration to unwilling farmers in Singur yesterday.

Appearing for the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, senior counsel Saktinath Mukherjee opposed the prayer claiming that an ex-parte petition could not be moved when the opposite party was present in the court.

Following this, TML counsels moved a division bench comprising Justices Pratap Roy and M A Ghani before recess and sought to move an oral prayer for an interim stay on distribution of land, but the court directed them to file a written petition and serve notice to the Advocate General, and asked them to move the petition after the interval.

The TML counsels, however, did not move the bench again, though several government lawyers were present in the court to contest their prayer.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal government filed a caveat before the Supreme Court so that any petition by Tata Motors Ltd over Singur land before it was not heard ex-parte.

The Singur Act 2011 was notified on June 21 and on the same day the West Bengal government took possession of the land measuring 997.97 acre at Singur.

TML moved the court on June 22 challenging the Act and sought an interim stay on any activity by the state on the land.


(PTI)


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