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Farmers shouldn’t be forced to repay loans, Supreme Court tells TN govt

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The Supreme Court has said to the Tamil Nadu government that the farmers reeling from drought should not be pressured for recovery of loans. The government should restrict if a financial institution is found to be doing so, the SC added.

“The government’s approach should be preventive rather than compensatory and it should travel the last mile to reach out to the farmers,” a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra told. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by state farmers.

The remark comes just a day after a bench led by chief justice JS Khehar gave time to the Centre to execute its new schemes for farmers. The bench was aware that farmers were forced to commit suicide as banks that lend money take forcible action for retrieval. Such an action should be deferred in case of crop failure.

SC has also asked the state to develop a mechanism where farmers can approach government if an action was taken against them for loan default owing to crop failure. Executive action should also be taken to throw away middlemen who buy produce at throwaway prices from farmers.

“Job of the executive is to ensure that farmer suicides do not happen. It should be dealt at the ground level. This should not happen at all,” the court said. The bench posted the issue for further hearing on August 4.