A Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court, comprising Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Mrinal Kanti Chaudhuri, is expected to deliver its verdict on the constitutional validity of the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 on Friday.
. The earlier judgment by Justice I. P. Mukerji, who had held the Act to be “constitutional and valid,” was challenged by Tata Motors.
The law had been enacted by the Trinamool Congress-led government to enable the return of a portion of the land acquired for Tata’s Nano factory in Singur to the “unwilling farmers.” The decision to return the land, one of the key electoral promises made by the Trinamool Congress, was announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after her government’s first cabinet meeting last year .
The West Bengal Assembly had passed the Bill on June 14, 2011 . A week later, Tata Motors moved the Calcutta High Court, challenging its constitutional validity .
In his verdict delivered on June 28, 2011 Justice Mukerji upheld the Act, but also ruled that it was enacted for the “acquisition of land leased out to the Tatas” and that the provision for compensation in it was “vague and uncertain” – two points that had been vociferously argued by Samaraditya Pal, the counsel for Tata Motors.
Tata Motors appealed against the verdict and the matter came up before the Division Bench comprising Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice Joymalya Bagchi on November 1, 2011. But a panel of lawyers of the State government, headed by West Bengal’s Advocate General Anindya Mitra, argued that the Bench did not have the “jurisdiction” to hear an appeal challenging the Act.
Chief Justice J. N. Patel had then reassigned the matter to Justice Ghose and Justice Chaudhuri.