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Indian Automaker to Take Land Dispute to Top Court


Rows of Tata's ultra-cheap Nano cars sit at a Tata Motors manufacturing plant in Sanand, Gujarat state, India, June 1, 2010 (file photo).

Rows of Tata's ultra-cheap Nano cars sit at a Tata Motors manufacturing plant in Sanand, Gujarat state, India, June 1, 2010 (file photo).

Indian automaker Tata Motors says it will ask the country's highest court to block a state government's decision to return land for a factory back to farmers.

West Bengal's state legislature passed a law earlier this month allowing it to reclaim land in the town of Singur that was allotted for a factory to make what has been touted as the world's cheapest car, the Nano.

The factory, which Tata says was nearly complete, was abandoned in 2008 after violent protests by farmers who said they were not properly compensated. The automaker then shifted production to the western state of Gujarat.

The high court in West Bengal's state capital, Kolkata, has refused to stay the law ordering the distribution of land to its previous owners.

Tata Motors issued a statement late Monday saying it will now take up the matter with India's Supreme Court.

Tata says it has invested close to $400 million in the site in Singur.

West Bengal's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who took office last month, helped lead the demonstrations against the Nano plant three years ago.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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