Friday, December 7, 2007

PIL on farmers' suicide issue -HC rejects govt plea

HC rejects govt plea to dispose of PIL on farmers' suicide issue

Vaibhav Ganjapure I TNN

Nagpur: In an interesting turn to the petition on farmers' suicides, advocate general Ravi Kadam has appealed to the court that it should be disposed of as the issue was out of court's domain.
Kadam, who especially came from Mumbai to argue the case, contended that the issue comes under jurisdiction of state government's executive body and not under "court's purview".
Citing similar petitions in the Bombay high court that were disposed of with certain directions, Kadam asked the court to dispose of this petition as well since most of the work was finished. Kadam also insisted that the state government has been time and again filing affidavits in the court which are more or less same and they have nothing new to offer.
However, a division bench of justice A P Lavande and justice A B Chaudhari categorically denied disposing of the case saying that "there's still a lot of work remaining".
Instead, the court directed petitioner's counsel Firdos Mirza to suggest further steps to the government to prevent farmers from resorting to the extreme step and asked him to submit an affidavit with statistics. The state would then give its opinion. The court has fixed next date of hearing on Feb 1.
Earlier, while replying to Kadam's contention, Mirza argued that work on farmer's suicides is far from over since suicides are still continuing. He asserted that the petition was filed last year whereas the packages for farmers were announced much later.
Mirza stated that even after announcing packages, the compensation hasn't reached the farmers. He suggested some immediate measures to stem the spate of suicides like giving complete loan and interest waiver, allowing farmers to take new credit and providing them food security. He also demanded action against erring officials who failed to carry out the task.
Mirza also informed that Vasantrao Naik Swawalambi Mission constituted for the farmers is working without its director since many days.

'Cotton MSP is Central subject'

On an application made by petitioner to revise minimum support price (MSP) for cotton, Kadam informed the court that it is "Centre's subject" and state has no jurisdiction over it.During last hearing, the high court issued a notice to the government on an intervention application filed by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari who added this issue to his earlier petition filed in public interest accusing the state government of ignoring farmers community that led them to take extreme step of suicide. TNN

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