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Farmers Protests : Why 'Exorbitant' Personal Bonds Sought From Farmers With Tractors? Allahabad High Court Asks UP Authorities

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
25 Jan 2021 5:07 PM GMT
Farmers Protests : Why Exorbitant Personal Bonds Sought From Farmers With Tractors? Allahabad High Court Asks UP Authorities
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In a significant judicial intervention, the Allahabad High Court on Monday asked Uttar Pradesh authorities to explain why Sub-Divisional Magistrates issued notices to farmers with tractors to furnish 'exorbitant personal bonds' in the wake of farmers protests.A division bench of Justices Ramesh Singha and Rajeev Singh passed the order in a PIL filed challenging the notices issued under...

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In a significant judicial intervention, the Allahabad High Court on Monday asked Uttar Pradesh authorities to explain why Sub-Divisional Magistrates issued notices to farmers with tractors to furnish 'exorbitant personal bonds' in the wake of farmers protests.

A division bench of Justices Ramesh Singha and Rajeev Singh passed the order in a PIL filed challenging the notices issued under Section 111 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on January 19 asking farmers to furnish personal bond in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rupees 10 lakhs and two sureties for the like amount citing apprehension of breach of law and order amid farmers protests.

These notices were challenged in a PIL filed by social activist Arundhati Dhuru who stated that the notices have been issued by District administration of Sitapur to farmers "causing them financial hardship and not allowing them to move freely from their dwelling place".

As per Section 111 of the CrPC, an Executive Magistrate can ask a person to furnish a bond as "security to keep peace". Such an order can be passed only on the basis of "sufficient ground" on the basis of information that a person is "likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity or to do any wrongful act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity".

Senior Advocate IB Singh, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that at the notices issued by SDM under District Magistrate, Sitapur, are "baseless", taking away fundamental rights of farmers "as farmers are not allowed to come out from their houses as the police have surrounded their houses".

The senior counsel further submitted that the amount of personal bond and sureties, which have been sought by the notices, are too exorbitant to be met by poor farmers. Also, such notices cannot be issued to person merely on the report of local police, without giving an opportunity of hearing to them.

The division bench, which considered the plea on an urgent mention made by the petitioner, ordered :

"Considering the averments made in the present writ petition and notices, which have been issued to the farmers, who are tractor owners, we deem it appropriate to call instructions from the State authorities as to under what circumstances such an exorbitant amount of personal bond and two sureties have been asked to furnish to them," 


The Additional Advocate General, Vinod Kumar Sahi, has been asked to get instructions from District Magistrate, Sitapur in the matter. The case will be next considered on February 2.

A large group of farmers have been protesting near Delhi borders since November 26 demanding the repeal of three controversial farm laws passed by the Parliament last year.

The protesting farmers unions have announced that they will hold a tractor rally in Delhi on the Republic Day. Ahead of the tractor rally, there were reports that the UP administration has asked fuel stations in all districts to not provide diesel for farmers' tractors. However, the UP police later said that such notices have been withdrawn.






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