Maharashtra farmers continue to borrow from private money lenders in large numbers

Many cases have come up in the year involving private money lenders causing harm to borrowers, who mostly happen to be from agrarian background.

pune Updated: Sep 28, 2018 17:09 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Maharashtra,Pune,Farmers
Police have registered a case of abetment to suicide and criminal intimidation against six money lenders after a farmer hanged himself to death on September 10.(HT PHOTO FOR REPRESENTATION ONLY)

Chandrakant Sadashiv Sangle, 45, a resident of Ganegaon Dumala area of Shirur, Pune, hanged himself to death at his residence on September 10. His death initially got recorded as an accidental death at the Shirur police station. Six days later, on September 16, the local police registered a case of abetment to suicide and criminal intimidation against six money lenders.

Police inspector Ghodke of Shirur police station, who is investigating the case, said, “A case of fraud was registered against the deceased a few months ago in a matter of a society loan.” He said the investigations were on to verify whether he had taken the loan or not.

Sangle’s case wasn’t the only that came up in the year involving private money lenders causing harm to borrowers, who mostly happen to be from agrarian background.

While a new law for better regulation of private money lenders was introduced by the Maharashtra government in 2014, the number of registered money lenders has increased in the last few years despite the amnesty scheme in the form of loan waiver offered by the state government.

In 2015, the rise was 11.7 per cent, compared to 2014, and in 2016 the rise was 1.5 per cent as compared to 2015.

After the introduction of the law in 2014, the number of loanees, however, dropped by 35.7 per cent in 2015 as compared to 2014. From 8.51 lakh in 2014, it went down to 5.47 lakh in 2015. However, with the increase in money lenders between 2015 and 2016, the number of corresponding loanees jumped to 10.56 lakh in 2016.

The complaint in the matter, filed by the deceased man’s 19-year-old son, claims that Sangle did not accept the loan. According to the complaint, the others pressurised Sangle and forced him to pay ₹13 lakh to the society.

A case was registered under Sections 306, 506, 34 of the Indian Penal Code along with Sections 33 and 34 of the Maharashtra Money Lending (Regulation) Act, 2014 at the Shirur police station under Daund division of the Pune rural police.

In a bizarre case, six people were booked under the state law for forcing a man to return ₹45 lakh for the loan of ₹4 lakh that was granted to him by them. Not only did they take the money, the accused also forced the complainant to sign a bond of ₹1 crore.

A case under Sections 395, 384, 452, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 39 of the Maharashtra Money-Lending (Regulation) Act, 2014 was registered at the Baramati city police station under Baramati division of Pune rural police.

First Published: Sep 28, 2018 16:38 IST