Allahabad High Court rules lower price for sugarcane

August 18th, 2008 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 18 (IANS) The Allahabad High Court Monday ordered a reduction in the government supported minimum price of sugarcane, virtually going against an earlier Supreme Court order.A piquant situation has been created in India’s largest sugarcane producing state on account of the high court ruling, which prescribes a rate of Rs.86 per quintal against the apex court’s earlier order approving a price of Rs.110.

Officials were in a fix in Lucknow as to how they would enforce such an “incongruous” verdict.

“I fail to understand how any court can give a verdict that contravenes an earlier order of a superior court,” a senior Uttar Pradesh cane development department official told IANS, requesting anonymity.

“Most of the farmers have already been paid at the rate of Rs.110 per quintal, in accordance with the Supreme Court order,” he added.

Uttar Pradesh Ganna Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (Sugarcane Farmers Action Committee) convenor Pritam Singh told IANS by telephone from Meerut: “This high court order is ridiculous and against the basic principle of res judicata, which does not permit an inferior court to even consider hearing a case in which a superior court has already given a verdict.”

“We are going to challenge this Allahabad High Court order before the country’s apex court within the next two days,” he added.

Commenting on the attitude of the Hindustan Bajaj sugar mill group, the key party in the case, Singh said: “Somehow all the litigation against the farmers is initiated by this particular sugar mill, which appears to be bent upon exploiting cane growers.”

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