The Allahabad High Court has held that discontinuation of electricity supply which in turn results in interrupted supply of water to agricultural fields is a violation of the fundamental right to trade and profession of the agriculturalists.
The observation was recently made by a Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery, while deciding a PIL seeking restoration of electricity at a Tubewell that is used in all nearby agricultural fields for irrigation.
The Petitioners in this case had argued that such unauthorized discontinuation of electricity was adversely affecting distribution of water and ultimately the agricultural production.
"We are of considered opinion that in command area any eventuality that adversely affects the supply of water to the agricultural fields virtually amounts to the violation of Article 19 of the Constitution of India as that affects business and profession of the agriculturists," the Bench observed at the outset.
It further directed the concerned Government agencies to see that the tube-wells situated in command area remain operational and regular maintenance and supply of electricity for proper distribution of water is ensured.
During the hearing, the Respondent authorities submitted that electricity connection has already been restored, and as such, the petition has become infructuous.
The counsel for the Petitioners, while accepting the fact that electricity connection has been restored, submitted that the Respondents are not adequately maintaining the tube-wells and disconnection of electricity is as usual.
The bench therefore directed the concerned District Magistrate to ensure regular maintenance of the tube-well situated in command area.
"For other command areas, the concerned Officers of the Electricity Companies shall ensure uninterrupted supply of the electricity and the concerned District Magistrate for regular maintenance of the tube-wells."
Case Title: Nathu Prasad Kushwaha & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.