The Supreme Court on Monday banned further shipment of non-Basmati rice. A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and G.S. Singhvi issued notices to various rice exporters on the plea of the Central Government, challenging an Andhra Pradesh High Court order permitting certain companies to export non-Basmati rice.
The bench also stayed the proceedings before the Andhra Pradesh High Court and sought a response from the exporters to the transfer petition filed by the Centre. The Central government has requested the Supreme Court to club all the 44 petitions related to export of non-Basmati rice pending before various high courts.
The Centre, through the ministry of commerce and industry, has rushed to the Supreme Court as Andhra Pradesh High Court had cleared exports of over 35,000 tonnes of rice. The high court order was against the Centre's decision to ban rice exports imposed on April 1 to deal with the acute shortage of rice in domestic and global markets.
Additional Solicitor-General P.P. Malhotra and government counsel Abdul Qadri submitted that the decision to ban rice exports was taken in view of the global shortage of food grains and, especially, rice.
Stay on social-scientist’s arrest
The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Gujarat government on social scientist Ashis Nandy’s plea, seeking a stay on his arrest and criminal proceedings related to an FIR lodged against him for his article in a national daily. A Bench, comprising Justices Altamas Kabir and G.S. Singhvi, asked the state government’s standing counsel whether its undertaking given before Gujarat High Court where the national daily has filed a petition seeking quashing of the FIR extends to Nandy as well. The state has promised not to initiate coercive steps like arresting the accused until the petition is disposed.