New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Tata Motors to consider restoring the land acquired for manufacturing its small car Nano in West Bengal, back to the state government, so that it could be returned to the farmers from whom it was bought.

The Apex Court bench of Justice HL Dattu and Justice Dipak Misra told Tatas that they are lease holders. "You are not carrying out any business there. You cannot be expecting any profit from the land. Why should you come in the way of the state handing it back to the agriculturists?” the court asked.

The court asked Tatas’ counsel Gopal Jain to respond to its suggestion by Aug 6. The West Bengal government and the Central Government, represented respectively by senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi and Solicitor General Mohan Prasaran told the court that the state is willing to return the compensation with interest to Tatas, if they restore the land to the farmers.

The court's suggestion to the Tatas to hand over the land back to the state came in course of hearing a petition filed by the West Bengal government challenging Calcutta High Court’s order, quashing its law to take over the Singur land.

(Agencies)

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