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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Stubble burning: HC restrains Punjab, Haryana from imposing fine on farmers

cities Updated: Sep 20, 2019 01:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday restrained the Punjab and Haryana governments from imposing fine on farmers for stubble burning.

The high court bench of justice RN Raina, while passing the order, also roped in Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, and Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, to suggest measures to deal with the problem of stubble burning. The notice has been issued to the Centre as well to suggest remedial measures. Detailed order is awaited.

“Both the governments have been asked to not to make any recovery of compensation from farmers for stubble burning,” petitioner’s lawyer  Charanpal Singh Bagri said after the hearing. The petition has been referred to chief justice requesting to treat the matter as a public interest litigation.  During the hearing, the bench of justice RN Raina observed that while farmers are committing suicides, the governments are making recovery of fines from them without discharging its duty.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Bharti Kissan Union, a Ludhiana based pressure group, in 2017.  In this petition, the union has sought directions for adequate compensation per acre to the farmers as they have been restrained from burning paddy straw, stubble and residue by various orders of the state governments. As per petitioner, those farmers, who burn paddy straw, are fined from ₹2500 to ₹15,000 and criminal action is initiated. Besides, red entry is entered in the revenue record, which result in farmers facing difficulties in availing welfare schemes. State policy is thus resulting in oppression of the farmers and discouraging them from paddy cultivation, Bagri had told court, adding that from time to time, this court has directed the state to take proactive measures by providing affordable and readily available solutions to save farming community, however, government has not been able to help farmers.

First Published: Sep 20, 2019 01:29 IST

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