Friday, July 13, 2007

High Court takes serious note on bouncing of farmer's cheque

iconimg November 4, 2006
Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, July 13, 2007

The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court had taken a serious note of the recent dishonouring of the cheque of a widow in the neighbouring Yavatmal district and directed the state government to place the entire factual position before it within one week. However, the Court also asked the lawyer of the petitioner to file a separate application in this regard.

It was an embarrassment for the Vilasarao Deshmukh government when a cheque issued by the Yavatmal district collectorate was bounced owing to lack of adequate balance in the account last fortnight. Taking the serious note of the lapse on the part of the district administration, the chief minister even ordered a probe into the incident last week.

The Yavatmal district administration had issued a cheque of Rs 10,000 in the name of one Vandana Shende, whose husband Anil had committed suicide in August last year. Vandana was shocked and surprised when the district central cooperative bank dishnoured the cheque because of paucity of funds in the concerned account of district administration.

Responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) on the on-going farmers’ suicide and half-hearted implementation of relief packages, filed by Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, a division bench of the Court, comprising Justice Dilip Sinha and Justice BP Dharmadhikari, directed the state to submit a detailed programmes and status of special economic packages, announced by the Prime Minister and the state government.

The Court also wanted to know the implementations of various directives, given by the Court earlier occasions, on the issue. It asked the government that whether the suggestions made by the petitioner, Kishore Tiwari were taken into consideration in this regard.

Several debt-ridden farmers have committed suicide in Vidarbha, forcing the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh government to announced a special economic package of Rs 3750-crore last year and a sum of Rs 1500-crore by the state government to bail out the crisis-ridden farmers.

However, these packages could not succeed to stem the tide of suicide so far. Around 1200 farmers, most of them cotton growers, had ended their lives in the region since Prime Minister toured the area and announced the package. As many as 32 farmers have committed suicide this month alone.

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