The Telangana High Court on Thursday expressed its displeasure over the delay in payment of compensation to the families of farmers who committed suicide.
Taking a serious note of the delay, the court directed the Principal Secretary, Revenue, to appear before it on April 6 during the next hearing of the case.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma gave the direction while hearing a public interest litigation filed by social activist Kondal Reddy over non-payment of compensation.
The petitioner brought to the court’s notice that in September 2015, the state government issued a Government Order (GO) to pay Rs 6 lakh compensation each to the families of farmers who ended their lives. He submitted to the court that even after six years, the families of farmers have not received compensation.
Another GO was issued in December last year to pay compensation to families of 113 farmers in various districts. The court was told that families of farmers in Vikarabad, Jangaon, Karimnagar, Peddapalli, and Yadadri Bhuvanagiri districts were still waiting for the compensation.
When the government counsel sought some time for paying the compensation, the court expressed its displeasure. It observed that the government issued a GO and then forgot the matter. Stating that the farmers died long ago, the court asked why families of farmers should suffer every day.
In 2018, the state government had launched Rythu Bima scheme in agreement with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) which pays Rs 5 lakh compensation in case of suicide by a farmer. The government has paid a premium of nearly Rs 1,000 crore on behalf of farmers who have digital pattadar passbooks.
The government did not pay compensation between 2014 and 2018 and the families of a few of the farmers who committed suicide had approached the high court seeking compensation.
Following the court orders, the government in December last year released Rs 7.95 crore for paying compensation to families of 113 farmers.