KOLKATA, June 22 – The Mamata Banerjee government suffered a serious jolt when the Calcutta High Court on Friday struck down as unconstitutional and void the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, which had scrapped the land lease given to Tata Motors by the earlier Left Front regime, reports IANS.
Tata Motors had moved a division bench against the Calcutta High Court’s Justice IP Mukerji’s September 28 ruling, which upheld the act. Upturning it on Friday, the division bench of the high court gave the West Bengal government two months to appeal before the Supreme Court.
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Mrinal Kanti Chaudhuri, constituting the division bench, said sections of compensation in the Singur Act were in conflict with the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The judges also said the legislation had been enacted without obtaining the assent of the president. The Mamata Banerjee government passed the act soon after assuming office.
The division bench also held that though the single judge had awarded compensation on the basis of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, the court had “no power to insert, rewrite or reframe” the Singur act.
“The said part (dealing with compensation) is not sustainable,” the division bench held.
The court suspended for two months its order to enable the West Bengal government to appeal to the Supreme Court, but has barred the state from disbursing reclaimed land in the interim period. Government counsel Kalyan Bandopadhyay said the government would appeal to Supreme Court.