The Calcutta high court on Monday refused to uphold Tata Motors’ plea for an interim order on stopping the return of the Singur land to its original owners.
The company, which was supposed to build the factory for manufacturing Nano cars in Singur, held the land. However, it shifted the base for manufacturing the car to Gujarat.
After the new government came to power in May, the West Bengal assembly passed a law decreeing the return of land to farmers who did not part with it willingly.
Justice Soumitra Pal rejected Tata Motors’ plea after advocate general Anindya Mitra told the court the company’s petition did not say the land would ever be returned.
Tata Motors’ advocates then took their plea to a two-judge appeal bench, which also refused to pass any order on an oral appeal.
Justice PK Ray and Justice Abdul Ghani, however, allowed the company to file a formal appeal and serve a copy to the advocate general.
Tata Motors, however, did not file any formal appeal before the division bench. It is likely to appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
In another development, about 20 landowners who had given their land for the Nano project filed a petition seeking direction that if the state wanted to return the land, it should be returned to all the owners. The petition is likely to be listed on Tuesday for hearing.
Farming to start in seven days
The West Bengal government wants farming to resume on the returned land in seven days.
The Hooghly district administration has been asked to move ahead on this.
“Our target is to resume farming at the Nano site in a week. All the preparations are geared towards achieving this,” said a minister who is a member of the high-powered committee set up for facilitating land return.
Farmers have begun preparations by readying paddy seeds and repairing tractors for resuming farming.
The plan of the administration is about 600 acres of the 997.17-acre plot would be retained for use later, and the rest will be returned.