SC declines plea on farmer suicides, terms it governance problem

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a PIL questioning ‘flawed’ government policy in dealing with the spate of suicides by farmers across the country, saying it was a matter related to policy and governance.

“What are we supposed to do,” observed the bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi, saying this was a matter concerning people in the government.

Asking petitioner S. Sundaresan to approach the government, the bench said: “This is a problem of governance. It is a policy matter and the court could not sit on judgment on policies.”

The petitioner sought the court’s direction for the implementation of eminent agricultural scientists M.S. Swaminathan’s report.

The National Commission on Farmers headed by Swaminathan during 2004-2006 in its report had said: “The Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be at least 50 percent more than the weighted average cost of production. The net take home incomes of farmers should be comparable to those of civil servants.”

The recommendations were targeted to improve the economic viability of farming by significantly increasing the income of farmers and setting up of the agricultural coordination committee headed by the prime minister.

Asking the petitioner to approach the government, the court dismissed the PIL.

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