New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the return of land acquired from farmers in Singur in West Bengal for the Tata Motors Nano project till the final order on the issue by the Calcutta High Court.

The Supreme Court, however, said it will not interfere in the decision.

"The Supreme Court said it will not interfere in the special leave petition but till a further order from Calcutta High Court, no distribution of land will be done," West Bengal government's lawyer Kalyan Bandopadhyay told reporters.

The newly-elected Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal had passed a bill to return the land acquired from farmers who were unwilling to part with it.

The legislation was challenged by Tatas in the Calcutta High Court, which ruled against them. They then moved the apex court.

Given the urgency of the matter, the Supreme Court also asked the Calcutta High Court to give its decision within a month.

Mamata welcomes order

Meanwhile, welcoming the Supreme Court's interim order on the Singur land case, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the Apex Court did not stop land survey and the "process of distribution of land".

"We welcome the Supreme court order. It will go in favour of the farmers and in favour of the people," she told reporters commenting on the Apex Court order.

The Chief Minister, who had a talk with government lawyer Kalyan Banerjee on the Apex Court order, said the Supreme Court had not stopped the land survey and process of distribution of land in Singur.

"The Apex Court only said that distribution of land would be stopped till the Calcutta High Court passes its judgement on the case," she said.

The Supreme Court directed the West Bengal government not to go ahead with distribution and return of land in Singur to farmers which was acquired for Tata Motors' small car project Nano.

"As an interim order, we direct state government not to hand over or return land to farmers concerned until further order passed by the Calcutta High Court," a vacation bench comprising justices P Sathasivam an A K Patnaik said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Tata Motors challenging the order of Calcutta High Court which refused to grant any relief to it.

(Agencies)