State of Tamil Nadu directed to come up with measures to tackle the issue of farmer deaths

Supreme Court: Voicing concern over the rising number of farmer deaths, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and M.M. Shantanagoudar, JJ issued notice to the State of Tamil Nadu to come up with certain schemes and measures within 2 weeks as there is an expectation on the part of the citizens that the State shall come to their aid when such a catastrophe occurs and the State’s response must be in promptitude so that the gravity of the situation does not get a geometrical progression.

Taking note of the fact that the deaths are due to famine backdrop and other natural causes and also due to immense financial problem, the Court said that the State, as the guardian, is required to see how to solve these problems or to meet the problems by taking curative measures by treating it as a natural disaster. The State stands on the position of a loco parentis to the citizens and when there are so many deaths of farmers in the State of Tamil Nadu, it becomes obligatory on the part of the State to express concern and sensitiveness to do the needful and not allow the impecunious and poverty stricken farmers to resign to their fate or leave the downtrodden and the poor to yield to the idea of fatalism.

The petitioner had filed the present Special Leave to Appeal against the order of the High Court of Madras where it had disposed of the writ petition by directing the petitioner to obtain information under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The Court said that the High Court has really not touched the issue that was required to be appositely dealt with. The Court said that the present matter has the potentiality to disturb the conscience of any sensitive soul, for it relates to deaths of farmers, which has its significance in a society where agriculture is of paramount importance and most of the farmers exclusively depend upon the same for their sustenance.

Appointing Gopal Shankar Narayan as an amicus curiae, the Court listed the matter to be taken up on 28.04.2017. [Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 396, order dated 13.04.2017]

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