The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday gave its judgement on the allocation and ownership of the Singur land of West Bengal. The judgement set aside the land acquisition act set by the West Bengal government in 2006 and said that the process of acquisition by the then CPI(M) government was wrong on numerous accounts. The Supreme Court asked the current Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal Government to return the land to its original owners within 10 weeks. The court also said that the farmers need not return back the compensation they received from the government on the grounds that they were deprived of their livelihood for 10 years.
The Supreme Court also accused TATA of bypassing the rule during the acquisition of the land. Earlier, a lot of petitions had challenged the land acquisition in West Bengal’s Singur district by TATA Motors’for their ambitious ‘Nano’ project. The land acquisition had also been challenged by the Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights , which said that the original purpose for the acquisition was for public service, but it was handed over to TATA Motors’. Such an act was illegal and a direct breach of the land acquisition law added the organisation.
May18, 2006 : The ambitious Nano small cars plant is announced by Tata Motors in Singur, West Bengal
July 18, 2006: Mamata Banerjee sows paddy near Singur as a mark of protest
January 21, 2007: Tata Motors starts construction of the plant in WB.
December 3, 2007: Mamata Banerjee goes on an indefinite Hunger strike
December 19, 2007: Launch of the Nano is announced by TATA Motors
December 28, 2007:Mamata Banerjee ends fast
January 18, 2008 : Calcutta High Court judges the acquisition legal
February 15, 2008: First Nano from Singur to be rolled out by October, TATA announced
May 21, 2008:Trinamool Congress wins the majority in panchayat elections
August 24, 2008 :Mamata restarts indefinite dharna at Singur
September 2, 2008: TATA forced to suspend work at the plant
September 3: State government & TMC agree for negotiations, Gopal Krishna Gandhi plays mediator
September 5, 2008: Negotiations start between CPI(M) and TMC
September 7, 2008: Negotiations failed
October 3, 2008: Tata Motors decides to move out of Singur
October 7, 2008: Tata announces new Nano Plant in Sanand, Gujarat
September 1, 2009: Ratan Tata raises compensation issue with the WB government
May 20, 2011:Mamata Banerjee becomes Bengal CM; first cabinet decision to return 400 acres to unwilling farmers
June 9, 2011: Takes over 997 acres citing non-performance by Tata Motors.
June 10, 2011: Bengal govt goes back on ordinance.
June 14, 2011: Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill, 2011 passed in the legislative assembly under the new Mamata Banerjee-led WB government
June 22, 2011: Tata Motors challenges the Bill in Calcutta High Court
June 29, 2011: Supreme Court orders the WB govt to stop distributing land until further notice from the Court
September 28, 2011: Justice I P Mukerji, Calcutta High Court upholds the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011
October 29, 2011: Order of the Calcutta High Court challenged by the Tata Motors
June 22, 2012: The bill is struck down by the bench division of the Calcutta High Court.
August 6, 2012: The WB government challenges the Calcutta High Court order in the Supreme Court
August 24, 2012: Supreme Court seeks TATA Motors’ response to the petition filed by WB government. Upholds the High Court’s order till further notice
July 10, 2013: TATA Motors’ is aked by the SC to consider returning of the land.
Nov 12, 2013: TATA informs the SC of its intentions of keeping the land
May 5, 2016: SC says that the CPI(M) had rushed through the process of acquisition
observes Left Front-led Bengal govt rushed through the land acquisition process
The farmers now, are to get their land back, by the directions of the Supreme Court. The court asked the WB government to run a survey to find out the real owners of the land and distribute it back to them within 2 weeks.