Take farm suicides seriously, Supreme Court tells Centre

Direction comes on a petition filed by Punjab-based NGO

New Delhi, August 21

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to deal with the problem of farmers’ suicide more seriously instead of merely trying to bring down the number of such incidents.

“There should be no case of farmer suicide in the country,” the social justice Bench headed by Justice MB Lokur told Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand when she argued that such deaths had started declining since 2009.

The Bench asked the government to ascertain as to whether the suicides were linked to possible shortcomings in the National Policy for Farmers 2007 and review it if necessary.

Also, the MS Swaminathan committee should have brainstorming sessions quite often instead of meeting once a year to discuss farmers’ problems, it suggested.

It directed the Centre to file an affidavit in six weeks on the need for revising the 2007 policy.

In its affidavit filed earlier, the government had maintained that the number of suicides among farmers had come down from 17,368 in 2009 to 11,772 in 2013.

Further, the reasons for taking the extreme step were family problems, illness, drug addition, unemployment and dowry disputes. The Bench was hearing a PIL by Punjab-based NGO, Youth Kamal Organisation.

Source- Tribune India


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