The Telangana High Court had issued notices to the State government, after hearing a PIL plea over alleged sale of spurious chilly seeds to farmers by private companies in Mulugu district.
A Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy instructed the Mulugu District Agricultural Officer and its Mandal Agricultural Officer to collect seeds being sold by five companies. Send the samples of seeds to the laboratory concerned to decipher their purity, the Bench said in its order.
“The purity report should be presented before the court within two weeks,” the Bench added.
The petitioner Cherukuri Satish Kumar’s counsel B. Rachna Reddy contended that Principal Secretary of Agriculture, Agriculture Commissioner and Panchayat Raj Commissioner and other officials failed to initiate action against the companies accused of supplying spurious seeds to farmers.
The counsel urged the court to declare ‘inaction’ of the officials in the matter as illegal and immoral. She asked the Bench to instruct the officers to take up a slew of actions, including invoking Preventive Detention Act, against Nunhems India Private Limited for “not maintaining minimum Genetic Purity Standards as prescribed by the Seeds Act-1966 and General Seed Certification Standards”.
Despite knowing that chilly seeds US-341 lacked the mandatory standards of genetic purity and germination, the company supplied them to the farmers, the petitioner alleged. He said that farmers sowed the seeds in 4,000 acres of land in Venkatapuram mandal in the district and suffered huge losses. The petitioner also sought a direction for payment of compensation to farmers by the private companies accused of supplying such seeds.
Ms. Rachna Reddy urged the Bench to cancel the licence of Nunhems company for failing to comply with the provisions of the Seeds Act-1966. She requested the court to order for an inquiry into the sale and distribution of spurious seeds in Mulugu district.