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Farmer-the most endangered species

Farmer suicides: SC to consider policy issues raised by PIL

Posted by Ramoo on September 23, 2008

New Delhi, Sept 22: Two years after a PIL was filed questioning the country’s agricultural policy in view of a spate of suicides by farmers, the Supreme Court today said it would consider the issues raised in it and asked the petitioner to res

pond to the stand taken by the Centre.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan also allowed the Centre to file additional documents in the matter.
At the outset advocate Sanjeev Bhatnagar, who had filed the petition in 2006, said that the notice was issued to the Centre and four states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala — when it was pointed out that more than 10,000 farmers had committed suicide.
Bhatnagar said that the gravity of the situation and the high number of countrywide suicides by farmers burdened with debts had been conceded by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi but no effective steps had been taken to stop the incidents involving farmers under distress.
He submitted that though a notice was issued two years ago, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala had not yet responded.
The petitioner had sought a direction to the government to modify its agriculture policy with greater focus on the interests of farmers to check suicides.
The PIL said in the last five years over 10,000 farmers had killed themselves, and Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala were the worst affected. Farmers in various States were ending their lives unable to repay loans.

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