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HC stays Haryana order banning paddy sowing on panchayat land

June 19, 2020 07:33 AM


HC stays Haryana order banning paddy sowing on panchayat land
Khattar Govt Had Restricted Sowing Of Crop In 12 Blocks Of 4 Dists In State


The Punjab and Haryana high court has imposed a stay on the Haryana government’s orders regarding its much touted crop diversification scheme, ‘Mera Pani Meri Virasat,’ which had banned farmers from sowing paddy on land leased from panchayats in some blocks of the state. A division bench, comprising Justice Ajay Tewari and Justice Jasgurpreet Singh Puri passed the order while hearing a petition filed by Mukhtiar Singh and other farmers from Garhi Langri village of Kurukshetra district’s Pehowa tehsil.

The bench stayed the Khattar government’s orders issued on May 20 and 22 restraining farmers from sowing paddy on the panchayat land in 12 blocks of the state’s four districts.

With this, there is no restriction on the farmers sowing paddy on the leased panchayat land. The farmers across the state had been protesting the state government’s decision to restrain them from sowing paddy on leased panchayat land. A large number of protests were also carried by the farmers against this scheme.

According to the petitioners in this case, they are poor and landless farmers residing in Garhi Langri village for more than 30-40 years.

For earning their livelihood, they have been taking village panchayat land on lease annually. The petitioners had taken land on lease in open auction conducted for 2019-20. The Haryana government, at the onset of the current financial year, decided to keep the land with the old lessees with 5% increase in the lease money of the previous year 2019-20.

The petitioners said that the principal secretary, development and panchayat department, issued an order dated May 20 for implementation of crop diversification scheme ‘Mera Paani Meri Virasat’. The order stated that gram panchayat of blocks of Thanesar, Pipli, Babain, Shahbad, Ismailabad have been prohibited from cultivating paddy on their agriculture land.

“Haryana has restricted the sowing of the paddy crop on gram panchayat land where the water level is below 35 metres whereas the private landowners can sow paddy where the water level is below 40 metres. There is absolutely no justification for making such discrimination, apart from the fact that there is no provision in the Act or the rules where the state government can prohibit sowing a particular crop,” the petitioners submitted.

They also argued that the orders/instructions were beyond the power of the state government/chief minister, Haryana more particularly when there is no provision in the statute. It was also argued by the petitioners that they were granted lease of the land prior to the issuance of instructions prohibiting the sowing of paddy

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