10 June 2024


Judgments

High Court of Patna

Mahendra Yadav Vs. The State of Bihar and Ors.

MANU/BH/0667/2020

19.10.2020

Civil

Fixing Minimum Support Price is a policy decision which cannot be interfered with by the Court, unless arbitrary

Petitioner prayed for issuance of writ in the nature of writ of mandamus directing the Respondents to henceforth immediately and expeditiously procure the ready and harvested crop of maize grains from the farmers of State and accordingly, pay such beneficiaries at the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) fixed by the Government of India. The question involved in present case is can the Court issue a mandamus directing the State to pay a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for an agricultural crop is the issue which arises for consideration before this Court.

Petitioner, who has filed the instant petition in public interest, desires that the State fixes a Minimum Support Price for procuring the agricultural crop, i.e. maize, which is lying in abundance in the State of Bihar. The Respondent No. 2 has opposed the petition, on the ground that procurement of particular crop is a policy matter and since, the Godowns of the Food Corporation of India are likely to be filled up with other category of food-grains to be procured, any decision for fixing the Minimum Support Price would be contrary to the public interest and against the policy.

Pricing and procurement of food-grains for public distribution system and fixing Minimum Support Price is a policy decision which cannot be interfered with by the Court, unless of course, such policy is arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or violative of Article 14/21 of the Constitution of India, 1950.

In the instant case, the State has placed on record the revised guidelines for distribution of coarse grains, including the maize amongst the beneficiaries, termed as "Targeted Public Distribution System or MDM/ICDS Scheme". Nothing is brought to notice indicating the policy or the action of the respondents to be violative of Article 14/21 of the Constitution. Only for the reason that this year in the State of Bihar, the crop of maize is in excess than the previous year, cannot be a reason for present Court to issue a mandamus directing the State to procure the food-grains i.e. maize under the Minimum Support Price, so fixed with respect to other items of food-grains. Petition disposed off.

Tags : MSP Fixation Legality

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