14 July 2021 4:38 AM GMT
The State Government on Tuesday informed the Karnataka High Court that it has now decided to compensate families of those farmers who committed suicide for failure to repay loans taken from private money lenders who are licensed. The state government placed on record of the court its order dated July 8 by which it stated that "If a farmer has taken loan from licensed money lender and...
The State Government on Tuesday informed the Karnataka High Court that it has now decided to compensate families of those farmers who committed suicide for failure to repay loans taken from private money lenders who are licensed.
The state government placed on record of the court its order dated July 8 by which it stated that "If a farmer has taken loan from licensed money lender and if he commits suicide due to he not able to repay the loan, compensation will be granted on par with those farmers who have committed suicide and taken loans from banks."
Earlier, the high court had pulled up the state government for creating a classification among farmers who committed suicide, whereby financial aid is given only to farmers who ended life after borrowing from banks and financial institutions.
A bench led by Chief Justice Abhay Oka had said "Prima facie the cause for which farmer commits suicide is important...because 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."
It had added ""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."
In an affidavit filed earlier by Brijesh Kumar Dikshit, Commissioner for Agriculture and Director General, Environmental Management and policy research Institute had 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."
The court had by its order dated April 21 directed the Chief Secretary of the State Government to look into the statements made in the affidavit of the Commissioner of Agriculture. The Chief Secretary was to take a clear stand whether the families of the farmers who have taken loan from the private money lenders and who have committed suicide can be excluded from the government assistance of Rs.5,00,000.
The court yesterday directed the state government to now identify the families of the farmers who committed suicide on not being able to repay loan amount taken from private licensed money lenders and direct consideration of cases for compensation of families of farmers as identified under the order dated July 8. Moreover, earlier the compensation has been denied to farmers on the ground that they had not taken loan from the bank, their cases will have to be considered in terms of the order dated July 8.
The state government was also directed to issue necessary directions for identification of families who are beneficiaries under the order dated July 8 and to ensure that families get necessary reliefs.
The court has directed the state government to file a compliance report on the same by August 13. The court also allowed the petitioner Akhanda Karnataka Raitha Sangh to file an application seeking to challenge the clauses of the order by which compensation is not given to those farmers who took loans from private money lenders who are not licensed and have committed suicide.