New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday said that economic consideration could not weigh over the land acquisition law as it took exception to the manner in which the then Left Front government in West Bengal gave a bypass to the law for acquiring land in Singur for Tata’s Nano project.
Describing as “shocking” how section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act was ignored for acquiring land in Singur, a bench of Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice Arun Mishra said: “The government should have applied its mind on why requirement of land was increased.”
As senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Tata’s urged the court to hear then with an open mind, the bench said: “Your economics can’t bulldoze law…even if one person is against acquisition, the court will hear… this is not your land , you have almost got it for charity ..you are enjoying the land paid by public exchequer.”
Telling the court that they went to West Bengal as the state government wanted to push economic development, Tatas told the court that in thee commercial world every state gives incentives as it pointed to Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.
Noting there was a shift in the stand of the government with the change of party in power, Tatas said: “We never said we will leave Bengal if Singur is not given to us a they showed us Singur..We liked it.”
The court is hearing a plea by the West Bengal government challenging the Calcutta High Court order holding unconstitutional its Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 to reclaim 400 acres given to the company.