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HC seeks response on personal bond sought by DM from Sitapur farmers

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Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh) , Jan 26 (IANS) The Allahabad High Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to clarify under what circumstances an exorbitant amount of personal bond and sureties have been sought from Sitapur farmers.

A bench comprising Justice Rajeev Singh and Justice Ramesh Sinha directed the Additional Advocate General Vinod Kumar Shahi to fetch instructions in the matter from the respondent no.2-District Magistrate, Sitapur. The matter is listed for February 2.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Arundhati Dhuru. On Monday, a mention was made by Veena Rajes, Counsel for taking up the matter today because it is urgent matter as orders have been passed by the District Administration of Sitapur against the farmers, who are the tractor owners, causing financial hardship to them and not allowed to move freely from their dwelling place.

The petitioner, who is said to be an independent researcher and social activist as well as worked as advisor lo the Uttar Pradesh Government and Commissioners Officer on appointment by the Apex Court in the food case, has come up before this Court raising the plight of the farmers, who are tractor owners, of District Sitapur and has stated that several orders have been passed by Sub-Divisional Magistrates of the different areas of District Sitapur, who are working under the respondent no.2- District Magistrate, Sitapur, whereby notices have been issued on January 19 and subsequent dates to the farmers including lady farmers of District Sitapur under Section 111 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, calling upon them to furnish personal bond of Rs. 50 thousand to 10 Lacs and two sureties in the like amount on apprehension that he/she would violate the law and order in the light of the ensuing farmers protest in the district.

Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner has submitted that notices issued by the State authorities are not only baseless but also rake away the fundamental rights of a person as farmers are not allowed to come out from their houses as the police have surrounded their houses. He also submitted that the amount of personal bond and sureties, which have been sought by way of the notices, is exorbitant amount and such exorbitant amount cannot be sought from poor farmers and that too merely on the basis of the report of the local police personnel and without providing any opportunity of hearing to such farmers.

“Considering the averments made in the present writ petition and notices, which have been issued to the farmers, who are the tractor owner, we deem it appropriate to call instructions from the State authorities as to under what circumstances such an exorbitant amount of personal bond and two sureties have been asked to furnish to them,” the court order said.




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