Supreme Court favoured a comprehensive national policy on Friday for protection of farmers, many of whom have committed suicide because of rising debt and crop failures caused by natural calamities, terming it a “sensitive” matter of human rights and public interest.
“It is a sensitive matter of larger public interest and human rights which covers the entire country,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice N V Ramana said. The bench, on its own, expanded the scope of the petition which has raised the issue of farmers’ suicides in Gujarat, to the entire country.
“In this matter, we are of the view that all states should assist and accordingly we implead all state governments, Union Territories, the Centre and the RBI,” the bench said asking them to file their responses in four weeks.
The court was hearing the appeal, filed by NGO ‘Citizens Resource and Action and Initiative’ on issues relating to farmers in Gujarat. During the brief hearing, the court said that many farmers were committing suicide because of crop failure and indebtedness and yet there was no national policy to protect them.