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Supreme Court Stays HC Debt Relief Order for Tamil Nadu Farmers

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a Madras High Court order directing the Tamil Nadu government to waive off farm loans for all farmers in the state. The High Court order had put an additional burden of Rs 1,980 crore on the state exchequer.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:July 3, 2017, 2:44 PM IST
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Supreme Court Stays HC Debt Relief Order for Tamil Nadu Farmers
File Photo of the Supreme Court of India.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a Madras High Court order directing the Tamil Nadu government to waive off farm loans for all farmers in the state. The High Court order had put an additional burden of Rs 1,980 crore on the state exchequer.

The apex court has also issued notices to the National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturist Association that had sought the debt waiver.

In its April order, the High Court had asked the Tamil Nadu government to waive farm loans obtained by all farmers, instead of limiting the benefit only to those owning less than five acres of land.

It had also restrained cooperative societies and banks from recovering their dues.

While noting that the state's financial situation was grim and it was single-handedly shouldering the debt burden in a drought year in which farmers were committing suicide, the court had suggested that the Centre must come forward to extend financial help to Tamil Nadu "during this difficult situation".

A division bench comprising Justices S Nagamuthu and M V Muralidaran gave the order of waiving the loans while allowing a petition by National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturists Association.

The Association had alleged that government has shown discrimination in classifying farmers as small and medium and sought a direction to quash the government orders as illegal and to direct authorities to give relief to all farmers for loans taken from cooperative societies, irrespective of extent of land owned.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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