Hearing a batch of pleas regarding the air pollution in Delhi, the Supreme Court remarked on Tuesday (21 November) that why should anything be taken from the farmers on Minimum Support Price (MSP) if they burn stubble.
Justice Kaul said, "Why should there by any purchase under MSP system from these people? Stick must also follow the carrot. Why should people who violate law benefit monetarily?," according to LiveLaw.
He also questioned about other measures being used, "Have fines been imposed only or have they been collected. Next time, we want to know about the recoveries. Have you filed FIRs against unknown persons or landowners?"
Justice Kaul also suggested that the state should fund the machinery for poor farmers. Pronouncing the order the court said that of the Rs 2 crore fine imposed, only Rs 18 lakh has been collected and asked to recover the remaining amount.
Meanwhile, Justice Dhulia expressed, "Farmer is being made a villain. And he is not being heard. He must be having some reasons for burning stubble." He suggested to make removing stubble through machines "100 per cent free."
The bench asked the state of Punjab to take a cue from the state of Haryana in the manner in which financial incentives are given. It also suggested discouraging the cultivation of rice.
Justice Kaul criticised the Delhi government for not allocating budget for the RRTS project. The bench said, "If such national projects are affected, and if money is being spent on advertisement, we would be inclined to ask the money to be directed to the infrastructure."
The matter is listed for next week as senior advocate Meenkashi Arora representing the Delhi government urged the court to allow her time to come back with instructions.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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