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Petitition against Singur land acquisition irks SC

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October 13, 2008 19:23 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday took exception to legal battle fought by NGOs on behalf of farmers whose lands were acquired by the West Bengal government for Tata Motors' [Get Quote] small car 'Nano' project at Singur.

"We don't allow somebody else to file petitions on behalf of others," a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said during the hearing of a petition on the issue filed by Association for Protection of Democratic Rights).

The Bench questioned the locus standi of APDR, which claimed itself to be an old human rights organisation of West Bengal, for taking up the cause of farmers whose land were acquired by the state government for Tata Motors' Nano project.

The project last week moved to Gujarat due to political protests led by Trinamool Congress.

The court's remarks came after Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for APDR, stated that though Tatas have moved out of Singur, the land still remained with the government.

However, the Bench, also comprising Justices P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam, wondered how can somebody else challenge the acquisition of land which was acquired for public purpose.

It said the petitioner had to disclose who these landowners were. "They (landowners) can say they have not authorised you to file the PIL," the Bench said.

After brief hearing when Bhushan said that rules were not followed during the Singur land acquisition, the Bench tagged the matter with other batch of petitions pending before it. 

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