Tata Motors allowed say in Singur land acquisition case


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed Tata Motors to have its say during the hearing of a lawsuit challenging the acquisition of land at Singur in West Bengal, where it is setting up a factory to roll out Nano, the world’s cheapest small car.

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Permitting Tata Motors to become a party to the adjudication of the lawsuit, a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice R.V Raveendran admitted what is known as an ‘impleadment’ application by the business house.

After admitting the application, the bench adjourned the hearing to May 13.

Defending the Calcutta High Court ruling that upheld the West Bengal government’s acquisition of land at Singur, Tata Motors said the high court ruling was perfectly legal and the apex court needed to uphold it.

Tata Motors said any interference with the high court ruling would upset the company’s schedule to roll out the “people’s car”, which is slated to hit the road later this year.

The company pleaded that it has already incurred an expenditure of Rs.7 billion in setting up the car manufacturing plant.

“Tata Motors Limited had already started work of the Tata Small Cars Project on the lands and invested and incurred an expenditure so far of Rs.7 billion,” said the application.

It said it planned the project after it got possession of the land measuring 645.67 acres March 20, 2007.

The Tata application said the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, the land acquiring agency, had given compensation to the land owners, totalling approximately Rs.900 million.

All these aspects have been glossed over in the petition filed before the apex court by Kedar Nath Yadav, a practising lawyer, against the high court order, Tata Motors maintained.