The petition filed by Tata Motors challenging the constitutional validity of the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011 in the Calcutta High Court will be heard afresh after Justice Soumitra Pal recused himself from the case on personal grounds here on Tuesday. The matter will now be taken up by Justice I. P. Mukherjee on Wednesday.
Justice Pal said that he personally knew someone whose name appeared in the documents related to the case and had decided to release the case.
Advocate General Anindya Mitra and Government Pleader Ashok Banerjee asked him to reconsider the decision as it would delay the disposal of the case and the Supreme Court had on June 29 directed that the matter should be heard expeditiously, preferably within a month.
“The name of the person known to Justice Pal is neither that of the plaintiff nor of the respondents and it will not affect the case. We had asked him to reconsider, but ultimately it was his decision,” Mr. Banerjee told the journalists.
“It is up to the judge. None of the parties pressed him to release the case,” said Siddhartha Mitra, counsel for Tata Motors.
The hearing on the petition before Justice Pal had commenced on July 14.
Tata Motors had filed the petition in the Calcutta High Court on June 22, but when the court had refused the plea for an injunction on the distribution of land to “unwilling farmers” under the Act, the company had moved the apex court.
The Supreme Court had provided Tata Motors “interim relief” and stayed the distribution of land of the now relocated Tata Nano small car factory in Singur.
Meanwhile the process of surveying the land and receiving applications for the return of land has been in action. Trinamool Congress MLA and member of the High Power Committee deciding on all claims, Becharam Manna said that 2,855 applications have been submitted in the prescribed 30 day period according to the rules framed under the Singur land rehabilitation and Development Act.