SC asks Centre, 16 states to respond to PIL seeking release of Rs 15,683 dues of sugarcane farmers

The petition also seeks direction to the authorities to take action against defaulting sugar mills

SC asks Centre, 16 states to respond to PIL seeking release of Rs 15,683 dues of sugarcane farmers

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde agreed to examine the issue after senior lawyer Sanjay Parikh alleged that due to the delay in payment farmers were committing suicides. Tribune file

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 12 

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre and 16 sugarcane-growing states, including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, to respond to a PIL seeking a direction for immediate release of Rs 15,683 crore dues to farmers in a time-bound manner.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde agreed to examine the issue after senior lawyer Sanjay Parikh alleged that due to the delay in payment farmers were committing suicides.

The 16 states/UTs asked to respond to the petition are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chattishgarh, Telangana, Odisha, Goa, Telangana and Puducherry.

The petition also sought a direction to the authorities to take action against defaulting sugar mills.

Parikh explained that the livelihood of over five crore farmers and their dependents involved in cultivating sugarcane in an area of almost 50 lakh hectares was adversely affected due to delay in payment of dues.

As on September 11, 2020, the dues to the sugarcane farmers across the country stand at Rs 15,683 crore and “Uttar Pradesh is the worst-affected where the sugarcane companies owe at Rs 10,174 crore to farmers”, he said.

The petition demanded that a committee of experts be formed to study the problems of non-payment of dues by the sugarcane industries and make changes in the legal framework to ensure that in the future no delay occurs in the payment of dues of farmers.

 

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