New Delhi, June 29 (IANS): The Supreme Court today stayed the re-distribution of land acquired from farmers in West Bengal's Singur for the Tata Motors Nano project till the final order on the matter by the Calcutta High Court.
The Supreme Court also said it will not interfere in the decision, and directed the high court to rule within a month due to the urgency of the matter.
"The Supreme Court said it will not interfere in the special leave petition but till a further order from the Calcutta High Court, no distribution of land will be done," West Bengal government's lawyer Kalyan Bandopadhyay told reporters.
After the Trinamool Congress won the recent Assembly elections, the government passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act in the Assembly on June 14, scrapping the land lease given to the Tatas by the previous Left Front government for the Nano plant.
The Act came into force June 21 and the very next day, Tata Motors moved the Calcutta High Court challenging the legislation. But the high court refused the company's plea to restrain the state government from re-distributing the land.
The automaker yesterday approached the Supreme Court against the "undue haste" being shown by the government in returning the land.
After the Supreme Court's interim relief today, the Tata Motors counsel expressed appreciation. "We have succeeded as complete protection has been given to Tata Motors. The control of land will be with the State government but it will not be given to anybody," said Tata Motors' lawyer Mukul Rohtagi.
He added that the State government "may carry out their procedures, inspection and survey, but they will not hand over the land to anybody till the order of the high court".
Rohtagi noted that the West Bengal government's counsel also denied reports that land had been handed over to 12 people.