The Supreme Court had, on 3rd March 2017, heard a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by an NGO, Citizens Resource and Action Initiative, to demand compensation for the families of the farmers who have committed suicide due to crop failure. The Supreme Court has expressed deep concern over the issue of farmer suicides and has directed the Centre to address the core issues which have caused the farmers to commit suicide.
The Court said that it is not possible for it to grant compensation every time a farmer commits suicide and moreover, payment of compensation to their families of such victims post-facto will not remedy this grave issue. The Additional Solicitor General, P.S. Narsimha has claimed that the Government initiatives for the improvement of financial capacity of the farmers such as Crop Insurance Scheme, Soil Health Card Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, Parampragat Krishi Vikas Yojana, etc will solve the problem. However, there may have been other reasons behind farmers committing suicide such as sociological issues, inability to repay loans to banks, etc. Therefore, the Court has directed the Government to prepare a roadmap and set up a comprehensive framework within three weeks to address the distress and misery caused to farmers in the farm sector and to prevent the incidents of farmer suicides instead of compensating their families later.