In a reality check to State acquisition of agricultural land under emergency clause for industrial projects of private companies, the Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed the CPI (M)-led West Bengal government’s acquisition of 997 acres of agricultural land for industry captain Tata Motors’ Nano “small car” plant in Singur.

The 204-page judgment, which is a political victory for the Mamata Banerjee government, said though it is “completely understandable” for the government to acquire land to set up industrial units, the “brunt of development” should not be borne by the “weakest sections of the society, more so, poor agricultural workers who have no means of raising a voice against the action of the mighty State government.”

A Bench of Justices V. Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra agreed for different reasons, in their separate judgments, to quash the acquisition process of the land and return it to thousands of short-changed landowners, farmers and cultivators, who have been fighting a prolonged legal battle for over 10 years. Read more