Tata Motors had filed a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011

A day after the Supreme Court stayed the distribution of land to “unwilling farmers” from the site of the Tata Motors small car factory in Singur, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the West Bengal government to file an affidavit in connection with the petition filed by Tata Motors challenging the constitutional validity of the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011.

Justice Soumitra Pal directed the government to file an affidavit by July 8 and Tata Motors to give its reply by July 12. The hearing on the main matter after the filing of affidavits will take place on July 14, Kalyan Banerjee, counsel for the State, told journalists after the court was adjourned.

After the Supreme Court order in which the court had expressed a desire that the High Court should hear the main matter expeditiously, preferably within a month, the Court decided that the hearing will commence from July 14, Siddhartha Mitra, counsel for Tata Motors, said.

Tata Motors filed a writ petition in the Calcutta High Court on June 22 challenging the constitutional validity of the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011 under which the West Bengal government is to take over the land that had been leased to the Company and return a portion of it to the “unwilling owners” who have not accepted compensation.

Even as the matter was being heard, the process of distribution on land was initiated over the weekend and Tata Motors filed another petition on June 27 praying for an injunction on returning the land to the “unwilling farmers.”

The Calcutta High Court refused to pass an interim order after which Tata Motors moved the Supreme Court.

As an “interim arrangement” the Supreme Court directed the West Bengal government not to return land until further orders were passed by the Calcutta High Court.

The order given on Thursday will not affect the interim relief given to Tata Motors by the Supreme Court, Mr. Mitra added.