Mamata beats Tatas, CPM

Mamata beats Tatas, CPM

It was a golden Wednesday for Banerjee, who registered an awesome 54,000-plus win over her nearest rival Nandini Mukhopadhyay of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) in the Bhowanipore assembly bypoll in her first-ever effort to enter the state legislature. Her party also snatched the Basirhat (North) seat from the CPM.

Delivering the judgment in a packed courtroom here, Justice Indra Prasanna Mukherjee held the action taken by the government under the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act as valid. He said: “The law under which the land was acquired envisages it be used for public purpose which means socio-economic development and generation of employment.

The petitioners could do neither.”

The court said the administration showed “haste” in dispossessing the company from its factory premises following the notification of the Act.

Justice Mukherjee also held that the petitioner was entitled to compensation which shall be ascertained by the Hooghly district judge as per the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. It shall be paid within six months from the day on the petitioner applies for compensation.

The court observed that the provision of the Singur Act dealing with compensation was “vague and uncertain” though there was an intention to pay it. As such the petitioner is entitled to compensation which shall be determined as per Sections 23 and 24 of the Land Acquisition Act.

The Hooghly district magistrate and superintendent of police have been appointed special officers to supervise peaceful removal of belongings from the original Tata Nano plant premises within two months from November 2.

The judge stayed the order unconditionally till November 2 for the Durga Puja vacation and to give sufficient time to the parties to seek further legal redress.

To a query from company counsel Samaraditya Pal on whether re-distribution of land can could start immediately as the petition had been disposed of, the judge clarified that there would be a stay on all actions under the act till November 2.

Hailing the verdict, Banerjee said: “It’s the victory of the people. It is a historic event not only for Singur and the country but also for the whole world. The Singur movement will forever be an example of struggle and victory for the world.”

She also said the verdict had paved the way for returning the land to farmers for which the formalities have been completed. The remaining around 600 acres will be used for setting up industrial units.

The automobile company said it would decide its next course of action after studying the Calcutta High Court judgment.The CPM said the final word is yet to come on the issue.

“The Tatas still have an opportunity to go to a division bench and the Supreme Court. We have to wait and watch,” said the party’s state secretariat member Rabin Deb.
The automobile major shifted the Nano plant to Gujarat from Singur in 2008, bowing to protests by the farmers led by the Trinamool Congress that sought the return of 400 acres taken from the ryots reportedly unwilling to part with their land.

The Singur movement reversed the Trinamool’s sliding electoral fortunes and it went from strength to strength over the next three years to unseat the Left Front from power.

Within a month of forming the government in May, she enacted the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, scrapping the land lease given to Tata Motors by the Left Front regime. However, the matter got locked in legal battles stretching from the Calcutta HCigh Court to the Supreme Court.

 

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