Don’t force farmers to repay loans, Supreme Court tells government
The court asked the state to devise a mechanism where farmers can go to the government seeking help, if an action was taken against them for loan default due to crop failure.india Updated: Jul 07, 2017 23:10 IST
Farmers reeling from drought should not be coerced for recovery of loans and government should interfere if a financial institution is found to be doing so, the Supreme Court said on Friday.
“The government’s approach should be preventive rather than compensatory and it should travel the last mile to reach out to the farmers,” a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra told the Tamil Nadu government while hearing a PIL filed by state farmers.
The court’s remarks comes a day after a bench headed by chief justice JS Khehar gave time to the Centre to implement its new schemes for farmers.
The bench was informed that farmers were forced to commit suicide because banks that lend money to them take coercive action for recovery. Such an action should be suspended in case of crop failure of no rain.
The court asked the state to devise a mechanism where farmers can go to the government seeking help, if an action was taken against them for loan default due to crop failure.
Administrative action should also be taken to get rid of middlemen who purchase produce from farmers at throwaway prices.
“Job of the executive is to ensure that farmer suicides do not happen. It should be dealt at the ground level. This should not happen at all,” the court said as it took on record report of the Tamil Nadu legal services authority on the agragarian crisis in the state.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on August 4, asking the state government to respond to the report.