The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the State Government to consider paying 50% Minimum Support Price for wheat to the farmers, so as to address their urgent needs during the prevailing circumstances amid the pandemic.
The order has been passed by a bench comprising of Justices Ravindra Maithani and Sudhanshu Dhulia in a PIL filed for the welfare of poor farmers who are affected in the lock down.
The Petitioner, Murli Manohar Srivastava had approached the High Court raising a "genuine and timely concern" regarding harvesting of Rabi crop in the State and fair prices being given to the farmers, in these difficult times.
Over the course of hearing, the court noted that payment of crop prices to the farmers, especially to marginalized farmers, during the prevailing circumstances might take long and may thus adversely affect them. "Normally it will take more than a month for them to get the price of the crop they have harvested," the bench observed.
Considering these difficulties, the court ordered the State to consider paying half of MSP to those framers who supply upto 100 quintals wheat "from its own resources".
"Being conscious of the logistical and other problems of the State, we direct that the State must consider promptly, on urgent basis of giving from its own resources 50% of the minimum support price of the wheat procured from the farmers, who have given wheat upto 100 quintals, in the purchasing centre, within three days from the date of procurement. This shall atleast take care of urgent need of these farmers," the court ordered.
The bench however clarified that its direction was only advisory and subject to consideration of the state Government vis-à-vis availability of resources.
"All the same, since we are also conscious of the fact that most of the amount will ultimately come from the Food Corporation of India, and we are not at the moment aware of the logistics and funds available with the State Government, we only direct the State Government to consider it, but consider it on urgent basis for release of this amount, as directed as above. We would wait for the reply of the State, before going further with the matter. We also direct the counsel for the Food Corporation of India and Mr. Rakesh Thapliyal, learned Assistant Solicitor General of India to get instructions in this matter," the court said.
The bench was also informed about various Government Orders and Policies that have already been implemented by the state Government to address the concerns of all the farmers.
The matter is now listed for April 24.
Case Title: In Re In The Matter Of Welfare Of Poor Farmers Who Are Effected In The Lock Down v. Govt of Uttarakhand
Case No.: WP PIL 49/2020
Quorum: Justice Ravindra Maithani and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia
Appearance: Petitioner in person; Advocate General SN Babulkar with Chief Standing Counsel Paresh Tripathi, assisted by Standing Counsel for the State Anil Bisht and Assistant Solicitor General of India Rakesh Thapliyal assisted by Sanjay Bhatt (for State)
Click Here To Download Order Dated April 15
Click Here To Download Order Dated April 18
Click Here To Download Order Dated April 21