Supreme Court quashes Singur land acquisition for Tata Nano Project

Supreme Court quashes Singur land acquisition for Tata Nano Project in West Bengal

31 August 2016   
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the land acquired by the previous Left Front government in West Bengal for Tata’s Nano car project, saying due processes and procedures were not followed.

The land was acquired in 2006 for the car project, which was protested by the Trinamool Congress — currently in power in the state with Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minisiter. Eventually, the project was shifted to Sanad in Gujarat.

The Supreme Court bench of Justice V. Gopal Gowda and Justice Arun Mishra also said 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.

While agreeing on the quashing of the acquisition, allowing farmers to retain the amount of compensation and directing that the land be returned in 12 weeks, the two – Justice Gowda and Justice Mishra gave 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.

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.”

MOFA Act 1963 – FIR

 

 

MOFA Act, 1963 is a powerful Act with stringent provisions against erring builders.
The various provisions contain imprisonment of 3 years, and fine, etc.
In certain circumstances involving breach of trust, the sentence of imprisonment can go upto five years..

The offences are both cognizable as well as non bailable.
For the first time, the Maharashtra Police has issued Circular on 1 July 2016 directing its police to file FIRs under the provisions of MOFA.

The victim Flat Purchasers can take advantage of these new provisions.

There is a Supreme Court Judgement Re: Lalita Devi that all FIRs must be registered within 7 days of receiving the Complaint (later increased to 15 days). Otherwise, the Police have to intimate to the Complainant in writing giving reasons for not registering the FIR.