Excerpts from Singur judgement

June 22nd, 2012 - 11:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 22 (IANS) Following are excerpts from the judgement delivered Friday by Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Mrinal Kanti Chaudhuri of the Calcutta High Court striking down the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, as unconstitutional:

* The Singur Act is a law relating to acquisition and further it appears to us that without having assent from the President of India, the Singur Act is hit by Article 254(1) of the Constitution of India.

* The provisions of Sections 3, 4(3), 5 and 6 of the impugned Act are directly in conflict with that of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and thereby repugnant to the said Act.

* In view of the above discussion, the above Act is wholly in exercise of the power by the State under Entry 42 List III of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India.

Hence, there was acquisition of land leased out to the Tatas and possessory right of the vendors. We further come to the conclusion that the Act cannot be treated as for public purpose when the intention is to return the land to the unwilling land owners/farmers.

* Since we have expressed our opinion that the Court has no jurisdiction to insert, in the guise of interpretation of statute, or rewrite/recast/reframe the same as held by the Supreme Court, we hold that Hon’ble Single Judge after holding that the intention of the legislature to pay compensation is vague and uncertain, has no power to insert or recast or rewrite the statute by inserting Sections 23 and 24 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

Therefore, the said part of the order is not sustainable in the eye of law and is set aside. In these circumstances, we have to hold that the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 is held to be unconstitutional and void since it is without having assent from the President of India.

We have also noticed that Section 5(1) only speaks about the refund of the money which was paid by the vendors and such refund tantamounts to no compensation as awarded to the vendors/writ petitioners and, accordingly, that also is not sustainable in the eye of law. Since ‘no compensation’ is nothing but in the nature of illusory and should be struck down.

For the reasons stated herein above, the judgment and/or order so passed by the Hon’ble Single Judge is set aside. The appeal is allowed. The cross objection filed by the state is also dismissed and the Act is declared as void.

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