Farmers Suicide – State Govt Policy To Compensate Only Farmers Who Borrowed From Banks Discriminatory, Says Karnataka HC

first_imgNews UpdatesFarmers Suicide – State Govt Policy To Compensate Only Farmers Who Borrowed From Banks Discriminatory, Says Karnataka HC Mustafa Plumber2 March 2021 9:39 AMShare This – xThe Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed the State Chief Secretary to make a clear stand whether families of the farmers who killed themselves after borrowing from private money lenders will be excluded from government assistance of Rs 5 lakhs. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty took strong objection to the classification created by the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed the State Chief Secretary to make a clear stand whether families of the farmers who killed themselves after borrowing from private money lenders will be excluded from government assistance of Rs 5 lakhs. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty took strong objection to the classification created by the state government whereby financial aid is given only to farmers who ended life after borrowing from banks and financial institutions. The bench orally observed : “Prima facie the cause for which farmer commits suicide is important…cause is he is heavily indebted…he is not able to repay the loan so he taken this option of committing suicide. What is the difference between the class of farmers who taken money from banks and credit societies and commit suicide and class of farmers who take loan from private money lenders and committed suicide? Why has the state made the distinction between the two?” The bench in its order urged the Chief Secretary while filing his affidavit in three weeks’ time, to look at the seriousness of the situation. The court said “Only in one taluka there are about 125 cases of farmers committing suicide, within a span of five years. We are sure that the chief secretary will consider why some farmers are forced to approach individual money lenders for obtaining loans.” The bench gave the direction after perusing the affidavit filed by Brijesh Kumar Dikshit, Commissioner for Agriculture and Director General, Environmental Management and policy research Institute. The affidavit stated that “The government has no control nor there is any regulation preventing farmers from taking any loan from private money lenders and therefore this aspect is one of the reasons for determining the eligibility of the farmers to extend the benefit.” It adds “However, if the same family who have suffered at the hands of the private money lenders also have taken loan from the banks or other notified institutions the family is still entitled for the benefit, subject to satisfaction of any and or all other conditions.” The bench firstly noted “The stand taken about the assistance to families of the farmers who committed suicide is quite shocking.” Secondly, the bench said “It is clear that state has created two artificial classes of farmers who have committed suicide. In first class is of farmers who had taken loan or borrowed money from banks/credit society etc. The second class is of those farmers who had taken money from money lenders. State government has decided to deny compensation to the families of the farmers who have taken money from private money lenders and have committed suicide.” Following which the bench noted “Prima facie it appears to us that cause of suicide is inability of farmers to repay the borrowed amount with interest. Therefore, prima facie it is very difficult to accept that the classification made by the state government will stand the test of Article 14 of the constitution of India.” Accordingly, it directed the Chief Secretary to look into the affidavit filed by the Commissioner and file his affidavit. It also directed the state government to place on record details of grievance/complaints disposed of by the district grievance redressal committee at District Yadgir. As per information given to the court from 2016 till 2020-21, 125 farmers committed suicide in Shahpur taluk of yadgir district. Out of 125 farmers who committed suicide, families of 105 farmers are entitled to the compensation. Of which 20 families were held ineligible as the farmers who committed suicide had not borrowed the money from banks. Out of 105 families found to be eligible, still 7 families have not been paid compensation. The directions were given while hearing the petition filed by Akhanda Karnataka Raitha Sangh. Advocate Clifton D Rozario appeared for the petitioner. The petition states that the State Government has declared various relief for the families of the farmers of those who have committed suicide including monetary compensation of Rs. 5.00 lakhs, free education for the children, Rs. 2000/- widow pension, etc. However, unfortunately, the families of the farmers who have committed suicide in the taluk have not been given all the relief, with some of the families receiving no relief to date. The petition also sought directions to the respondents to disburse crop insurance loss compensation to all insured farmers in Shahapur Taluk (Yadgir district) under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (henceforth referred to as PMFBY), for the 2016 monsoon season and thereafter. The matter will be next heard on March 29Click Hear To Download Affidavit[Read Affidavit]Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img

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