Allahabad HC: ‘Willful Disobedience’ by UP Govt in fulfilling Farmer promises

Sugarcane farmers

Shivani Gadhavi-

Published On: December 20, 2021 at 14:21 IST

The Allahabad High Court calls out the Uttar Pradesh Government for willfully disobeying the Court’s four-year-old order in which it stated that the Government was to fix interest rates of sugar mills to pay the farmers for late payment of sugarcane dues.

The Order was issued in March 2017, in which the Cane Commissioner, a senior bureaucrat of the Government, was to make the final decision about the grant of interest for late payment of sugarcanes that were purchased by the Government from the farmers for three financial years of 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

It was noted that even after the Cane Commissioner made the final decision by fixing the interest rate in which the farmers would be paid, the Uttar Pradesh Government has still not approved of the rate, which has caused a delay in the payment to the farmers.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Abdul Moin stated in an order on December 9, 2021, “It is apparent the Cane Commissioner has willingly sat over the matter despite having passed an order for payment of interest at the specified rate under the Act, under the pretext of taking the approval of the State Government.”

Advocate V.M. Singh, who filed a contempt Petition in behalf of the farmers, stated that the farmers have been waiting for the late payments via the interest rates that are supposed to be fixed by the Government, “In January 2014, the HC had fixed 15 per cent as late payment interest.”

In March 2017 the responsibility to fix the interest rates in which the sugar mills are supposed to make payments to the farmers, was given to the Cane Commissioner. The sugar mills were are bound to make the payments under the Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Act, 1953.

The Cane Commissioner stated that the willful disobedience is done by the State Government, who has not transferred the benefits to the farmers even after the period of four-and-half years. The Cane Commissioner is ordered to file a compliance Affidavit or to be present before the Court on January 17, 2021.

The Court stated, “However, the Respondent (cane commissioner) has proceeded not to take any further action after passing of the said order and thus prima facie there is willful disobedience and defiance of the order of the writ Court on this score.”

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