Nation
Singur Act unconstitutional, says Calcutta High Court

Giving its verdict on an appeal by Tata Motors, the division bench observed that the President's assent had not been taken for the Act and as such it was void and unconstitutional

 

Kolkata: In a setback to West Bengal government led by Mamata Banerjee, the Calcutta High Court on Friday held the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, under which the state had vested land leased to Tata Motors, as unconstitutional and void, reports PTI.

Giving its verdict on an appeal by Tata Motors Ltd, a division bench comprising Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Mrinal Kanti Chaudhury observed that the President's assent had not been taken for the Act and as such it was void and unconstitutional.

The implementation of the order was, however, stayed for two months by the division bench to allow the aggrieved party to appeal before a higher court.

The division bench set aside the order of Justice IP Mukerji who had held the Act to be constitutional. It observed that the single bench had no jurisdiction to fill up loopholes left by the legislature.

The court also observed that what was done in Singur was acquisition of land by the said Act and as such it was void.

Tata Motors had challenged the order of the single bench of the Calcutta High Court, which had upheld the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, by which the West Bengal government vested the land leased to the company at Singur, before the division bench of the court.

Tata Motors had appealed against the order of Justice Mukerji, which was passed on 28th September last year. Justice Mukerji had held the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011 to be constitutional.

The court had, however, ordered on 28th September an unconditional stay of the judgement till November two to allow any aggrieved party to file an appeal, if it so desired.

Tata Motors had been leased 997 acres at Singur in Hooghly district, about 40 km from Kolkata, by the previous Left Front government for its Nano car project, billed as the cheapest car.

Trinamool Congress, which was then the main opposition in West Bengal, had demanded return of 400 acres to farmers unwilling to give land for the project.

Tata Motors had moved its Nano small car factory to Sanand in Gujarat in 2008 citing law and order problems, but had kept possession of the leased land at Singur.

After coming to power in May 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had the Singur Act passed in the Assembly as one of her government's first major legislations.

Counsel for the state government Kalyan Bandyopadhyay, who is also a Trinamool Congress MP, said that the state would appeal against the order in the Supreme Court.

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Compulsory digital cable TV has already come into effect says TRAI

TRAI said the tariff order and regulations issued for Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems have come into force from the date of its publication in the gazette

 

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said its regulations on compulsory digitisation of cable TV service in four metros have came into effect the day the same were notified in the gazette, reports PTI.

TRAI objected to a statement of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which said the regulations for Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems (DAS) will take effect from 1st November.

"It is clarified that date of coming into effect of any Regulation/Tariff order of TRAI is as prescribed by TRAI and mentioned in the respective Regulation/Tariff order," TRAI said in a statement tonight.

It said the tariff order and regulations issued for DAS have come into force from the date of its publication in the gazette.

The statement said the Interconnection Regulations and Tariff Order (Amendment) and the Quality of Service Regulations, Consumer Complaint Redressal Regulations and Interconnection Regulation (amendment) were published in the gazette on 30 April 2012, and 14 May 2012, respectively.

"In fact, these regulations and tariff order have come into effect prior to the timelines prescribed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for timely and effective implementation on DAS.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had postponed the implementation of compulsory digitisation in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai till 31st October.

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BJP to support Sangma as UPA presidential candidate

The BJP, which failed to persuade allies like Shiv Sena and JD-U to support Mr Sangma, argued that it was its duty as the main opposition party not to allow a “walkover” to the Congress

 

New Delhi: Reconciling with division within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the presidential poll, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today announced its support to PA Sangma to pit him against United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pranab Mukherjee, reports PTI.

The party, which failed to persuade allies like Shiv Sena and JD-U to support Mr Sangma, argued that it was its duty as the main opposition party not to allow a “walkover” to the Congress which did not ‘consult’ it.

Announcing the decision at a press conference, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley said the main opposition party could not support a government which is using “various manoeuvres”, including investigative agencies, to rope in parties to stay in power.

“BJP has decided to support the candidature” of Mr Sangma, whose candidature has been proposed by AIADMK and BJD, Ms Swaraj said.

Describing Mr Sangma as “the country’s tall leader” as also North East’s “tallest leader”, she appealed to allies like Shiv Sena and JD-U to give up their opposition to his candidature.

Ms Swaraj and Mr Jaitley regretted that BJP could not persuade its allies and have a consensus in the NDA over the issue but insisted that it would have no impact on the ‘mature’ coalition.

To press her point, she noted that Shiv Sena had earlier also voted for UPA nominee Pratibha Patil during the last Presidential poll even though NDA had opposed her candidature but still remained part of the alliance.

Ms Swaraj and Mr Jaitley said BJP was trying to bring Trinamool Congress on board but refused to reveal how it was being done.


Ms Swaraj said, “Definitely we will try and bring her (Mamata) on board,” while Mr Jaitley said, “We will always keep trying to bring everybody on board.”

“Mamataji is a very serious and an experienced politician.

She has taken up a firm position. It is for her to decide. We hope the logical pursuit of what she started should be ready to support the opposition candidate,” said Jaitley.

With some allies not agreeing to support Sangma’s candidature, Mr Jaitley said, “It will not have any effect on the NDA. NDA will continue as it is. We have talked with all allies. We hope allies will review their position, but even if they don't, we will admit that on one issue there was no one voice. We regret we could not persuade our allies.”

On this Ms Swaraj said, “NDA has also a lot inherent strength to take along various allies...NDA is a very mature alliance while keeping various allies together. There is no question of NDA breaking up.”

The two leaders said the main opposition party, which also has the total support of its ally Shiromani Akali Dal, was trying to make a contest in the presidential poll in the interest of democracy.

“In a democracy election is mandatory. There is nothing in Constitution that it should be through consensus. We will not give walkover to Congress. We will contest,” Ms Swaraj said.

Mr Jaitley, on the other hand said, “The idea of an election is integral to democracy, it is not alien to democracy.”


He hoped that a major part of the electorate will support Mr Sangma and charged the Congress and UPA of having distanced itself from the common man. "They have been alienated from the common man”, he said.

Mr Jaitley said another factor that weighed on the BJP in contesting the presidential poll was that the UPA had no prior consultation with the opposition.

“The opposition was only informed after the announcement of its candidate and requested to fall in line. Many have fallen in line and yet many have refused to oblige... We decided not to fall in line,” said Mr Jaitley.

The two leaders termed Mr Sangma as a ‘good’ candidate and brushed aside talks that he was a Congressman. “Mr Sangma is no longer a Congressman. Now he has even left NCP,” said Ms Swaraj.

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COMMENTS

Adi Daruwalla

5 years ago

Between 1966 - 2012, this is the third fire at Mantralaya. You dont need to be Einstein to know that it is not the sfaety of the people working that is important, but that the butts of the politicos have to be saved under all circumstances and from all scams.
This is the biggest scam to get rid of all Maharashtra related scams.

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