The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought reply from Tata Motors, the West Bengal government and others as to why 'fertile multi-crop agricultural land' was acquired for the company's small-car project at Singur.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan while issuing notice to the company, the state government and the West Bengal State Industrial Development Corporation (WBSIDC) posted the matter for further hearing in July.
The petition filed by Kedar Nath Yadav, a practicing lawyer, while seeking immediate halt of the Nano car project had challenged the Calcutta High Court's decision that upheld as legal the acquisition of land by the West Bengal government for the Nano project.
The acquisition of fertile multi-crop agricultural land by the government in various parts of the state for Tata Motors' upcoming project, for Indonesia's Salim Group in Haldia and the Reliance group, was violative of farmers' rights guaranteed by the Constitution, Yadav's petition filed through Sarla Chandra stated.
It also goes against the provisions of Land Acquisition Act, 1894, the petition said.
Tata Motors, which proposes to roll out the world's cheapest car Nano from the Singur facility, submitted before the court that it had spent more than Rs 700 crore on the small-car project.
However, the manufacturer of the world's cheapest car Nano had earlier requested the apex court not to pass any orders on the petition without hearing it.
Such action on the part of the state government to acquire 997.11 acres of land at Singur in the name of public purpose without any specific master plan and depriving farmers of their livelihood without giving proper compensation was malafide, arbitrary and illegal, Yadav and other petitioners said.