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I am also a farmer… Supreme Court judge Surya Kant said on the issue of stubble

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Supreme Court Judge Justice Surya Kant on Saturday said he is a farmer and Chief Justice NV Ramana also comes from a farming family and knows that poor-marginal farmers cannot buy machines for stubble management. Justice Kant told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, “You are saying that 2 lakh machines are available, but poor farmers cannot buy it. Following agricultural laws, the holding in UP, Punjab and Haryana is less than 3 acres. We cannot expect those farmers to buy those machines.

Justice Kant said, “Why can’t the central and state governments provide machines? These should be taken for paper mills and other purposes. In Rajasthan, stubble can be fodder for goats etc. In winter, the Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, in which they called for free stubble removal for small farmers. Instructions were sought for providing the machines.

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Mehta, appearing for the central government, told the Supreme Court that these machines are being made available at 80 per cent subsidy rate. The Supreme Court judge asked Mehta whether the officials assisting him could tell the actual price after the subsidy. Justice Kant, sitting alongside Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice DY Chandrachud, said, “Can farmers afford it. I am a farmer and I know, the CJI is also from a farming family and he also knows and my brother (judge) also knows it. Justice Kant also said that it has become a fashion to blame farmers for air pollution.

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