Tata Appeals for Status Quo in Singur Land Case

Tata Motors said that they prefer to reach a solution that is workable between them and the West Bengal government so as to maintain a status quo on the Singur plot till their petition is begins hearing.

This submission was made in front of the High Court with the Advocate General, Anindya Mitra in attendance. The situation came to light on Tuesday that the WB government after taking possession of their Nano plant site that lay abandoned on Tuesday evening, had begun framing guidelines to redistribute the land among ‘unwilling farmers’ according to their objectives of the Singur Act, which is now disputed.

The company’s lawyer, Samaraditya Pal, told the court that they had no idea when the distribution of land could begin, requesting Mitra to agree for a status quo until the petition has been heard. Pal was also reported as telling the court that he wished to have a discussion regarding the situation with Mitra.

When asked on this matter by the Justice Soumitra Pal, Mitra said he was unable to give a ready commitment, seeking time throughout the weekend for considering this proposal. Later on Mitra said that there was a possibility of both sides having a discussion, responding to media persons. He however, did not give many details on this issue.

Earlier, the lawyer for the auto manufacturer had pointed before the court that Singur Act did not include any principals regarding provisions for compensation, along with questioning the legality of this Act, which allowed the state government to compulsorily take possession of the assets and land that belonged to the company.

Pal, referencing the 1894 Land Acquisition Act, said that compulsory acquisition powers were weighted against the compensation provision and, or solarium. These types of provisions do not exist in Singur Act.

The company also said that Singur Act, which was framed by WB government was conflicting with the Centre’s Land Acquisition Act, by offering to give land back to farmers, who were unwilling, and therefore, should be declared void and illegal. Tata Motors today filed for a supplementary affidavit with the court.

Defending the position of the state, Mitra said in the June 22 petition, the company had expressed their apprehension about the land being seized from their position, when this had already taken place a day prior to when the petition was filed. Because of this, the case of the petitioner is proved false and therefore should not be maintained.

Mitra will resume his case on Monday. He has accused the homegrown auto manufacturer of holding West Bengal state to ransom by deciding to keep the land at Singur in their possession. He questioned that if they had moved their Nano project elsewhere, then why did still have to possess the land.

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