Ajit to seek Prez intervention into judges determining cane prices

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (UNI) Leader of western Uttar Pradesh farmers and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh today said he would urge President Pratibha Patil to call a meeting of Chief Justices to discuss the issue of judges determining cane prices.

Decrying the delay in payment of minimum support price to cane farmers due to judicial decisions, Mr Singh said urgent intervention of the President was required in the matter.

He pointed out that mill owners in his state had again secured court's stay on paying farmers Rs 140 per quintal as declared by the state government.

''Why should the judges decide the price of cane when they do not do so in respect of other agricultural produce and other commodities?'' he said talking to mediapersons here.

He said that last year, the state government had declared the price at Rs 125, but that too could not be paid to farmers on time as mill owners again took the matter to the High Court and then to the Supreme Court. In previous yers too, the court's intervention had come in the way of payment of reasonable prices to cane farmers.

Under the state laws, farmers were also to be paid interest for the delay in payment, but courts were also interfering in that by reducing the interest, said Mr Singh.

Acccusing the Mayawati Government of being hand in glove with mill owners, the RLD chief said that if the state government took interest in the matter, they would not go to court.

Mr Singh said he wanted to know under what laws, the judges change the prices of cane declared by the government.'' They have no expertise in the matter, so why should they determine the cane prices?'' said the RLD chief.

He said his party was planning to lauch an agitation in this connection. He, however, said he had not talked to any other party from the state in this regard, though the BJP had declared an agitation in support of farmers.

UNI NAZ PK HT1750

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