New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its inability to issue an order for recovery of outstanding dues of more than 37,000 farmers of Gujarat with a private limited company but asked the state government to make earnest efforts to help them.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra held that no order could be passed against the company for paying the money because an agreement binds the terms of the farmers' employment, engaged in production and processing of hybrid cotton seeds.
The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, was of the opinion that the Gujarat High Court order was legally flawless in so far it desisted from issuing any order on the PIL by Sabarkantha Lok Adhikar Manchester and another Gujarat farmers' Union for recovery of around Rs 100 crore.
At the same time, the Court observed that it will give liberty to the farmers' groups to make a representation to the state government, which should provide help as much as it can, under the law.
"We grant liberty to the petitioners to submit a representation to the Secretary, Agriculture and Co-operative Department, Govt of Gujarat, who may take up the matter and if some assistance can be rendered in law, the same shall be done so that the farmers who are suffering should not think that they have to suffer in continuum," stated the order.
The bench added in its order: "If a representation is made within four weeks hence, we are sure the 1st respondent (state) shall take appropriate steps as required under law."
According to the petition, the company started defaulting in paying the farmers since 2011-12, and by the end of 2016, the outstanding was to the tune of more than Rs 100 crore.