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Farmers' Suicide Serious Issue, Says SC; Wants Centre To File Action Plan In Four Weeks

Government should have a policy that deals with root causes of such suicides, the apex court said.

27/03/2017 3:07 PM IST | Updated 27/03/2017 3:09 PM IST
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'Facade of a government building, Supreme Court, New Delhi, India'

NEW DELHI -- The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to inform it about the line of action to be taken by states for dealing with the "serious issue" of farmers' suicide.

"It is a very serious issue and the Centre should file the proposed line of action to be taken by states with regard to the farmers' suicide with the apex court registry within four weeks," a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said.

During the hearing, the bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said the government should come out with a policy which deals with the root causes of farmers taking the extreme step.

Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha said that the government is taking all possible steps like procuring food grains directly from farmers, increasing insurance cover, granting loans and crop loss compensation.

He said the government is coming up with a comprehensive policy to deal with the issues of farmers committing suicide.

The bench said, "Agriculture is a state subject and the Centre will cordinate with states and come up with a line of action to address root cause of farmers committing suicide."

Appearing for the petitioner NGO 'Citizens Resource and Action and Initiative', senior advocate Colin Gonsalves said over 3,000 farmers have committed suicide and the government should address all the real issues and implement a proper policy.

Expressing grave concern over farmer suicides, the apex court had earlier said that it felt the government was going in a "wrong direction" in tackling the real problem.

Asking the Centre to apprise it of the policy roadmap to address the burning issue, the court had said the issue of farmers' suicide was of "extreme importance" and paying compensation to the families of such victims "post-facto" was not the real solution.

The ASG had earlier told the court that the government has initiated many schemes for farmers and the 2015 crop insurance scheme would drastically reduce such fateful incidents.

He had said other schemes also needed to be strengthened to make farmers feel that the government would stand behind them in distress.

The plea was filed by the NGO on the plight of farmers in Gujarat and suicide committed by many of them there. The bench had expanded the scope of the petition to the entire country.

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