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NEW DELHI: India’s apex court, after years of litigation, has cancelled land acquisition for Tata Nano by the previous state government. The land acquisition was meant for the now flopped Nano car that Tatas had betted big at that time. The land acquisition caused the downfall of the Left Front government in the state.
Mamata Banerjee deftly used the opportunity to protest and sway the electorate against the Left Front government. She not just unseated the communist government in the state, but has managed to decimate and destroy the Left parties in the state since then.
The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment Wednesday quashed the land acquisition claiming that due processes and procedures were not followed by the state government of the time.
The case is almost ten years old. The Left Front government, in the year 2006, had acquired the land for the much talked about Rs 1 lakh Nano car plant. While the project was shifted to Sanad in Gujarat, the protests caused the fall of the state government that no one thought was even repotely possible.
The two-member bench of Supreme Court consisting of Justice V. Gopal Gowda and Justice Arun Mishra went on to observe that all those farmers who have taken the compensation in lieu of the acquisition need not return it as they have been deprived of their lands and its fruits for last 10 years. The court also said those farmers who had not taken the compensation may withdraw it and that land be returned to the owners within 12 weeks.
Despite the justices agreeing to quash the acquisition, both put forward different reasons. “I’m of the view that an acquisition of land in favour of a company cannot be fulfilled as a public purpose,” Justice Gowda said in his judgement, adding that due procedures were not followed while acquiring the land in favour of the company.
On the other hand Justice Mishra, in his reasoning, said acquisition in favour of a company is valid as long as it is for a public purpose and the funds for the same are used from the public exchequer. Having said this, he added that: “I’m exercising the power under Article 142 of the Constitution to quash the acquisition since the Nano car project has been shifted to Gujarat and the land is not being utilised for the purpose for which it was acquired.”