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Sugarcane News: High Court says, sugarcane farmers not bound to one factory.

Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court will allow farmers to sell sugarcane to factories outside the 'command area'. According to a division bench of the Karnataka High Court, a single judge order that allowed some sugarcane farmers to sell their produce to another sugar factory than the one allotted in their area.

The farmers pleaded that the allotted local sugar factory had not paid their dues of the previous year and had not started crushing even after harvest. Every single day the crushing was delayed, the value of sugarcane and thus the income to the farmers was reduced.

Though only five farmers had approached the court, the single bench judge has taken into view the problem faced by all farmers, the bench said. The division bench said "No matter that only five of the sugarcane growers were before the court, the learned single judge having taken a comprehensive view of the matter and in the interest of the sugarcane growers, since the sugarcane is ready for harvesting and each day's delay would seriously affect them, having passed such an order does not appear to be unjust or unreasonable."

The Indian Sugars & Refineries, Hosapete, Ballari, approached the High Court against an order of the single judge of the HC passed on December 15, 2015. Indian Sugars opposed this though admitting that there were dues to the farmers it had to pay for sugarcane crushed in the previous season. The new crushing season was to begin on November 15, 2015 but there was no sign of action, the farmers alleged. The single judge had allowed Y Basavaraj and four other sugarcane farmers to supply sugarcane grown by them to other factories in the 'command area' of the contesting sugar factory.

The single judge allowed to the five farmers and also to other sugarcane growers to supply the harvest to other factories. They were also allowed to even enter into contracts with Indian Sugars if it started crushing operations.

The sugar factory made the offer before the court to pay up the dues to the farmers in three instalments. The division bench said while hearing the sugar factory's appeal, that there was no bar on Indian Sugars to enter into agreements with the farmers. Thus there was no need for it to interfere with the single judge's order allowing farmers to enter into contract with other factories.