Madhya Pradesh govt moves Delhi HC challenging cease of basmati breeder seeds

It was submitted in the HC that the impugned memoranda were internal directions, not backed by a statute, and were therefore unconstitutional


The court will hear the matter next on 2 March, 2017. Photo: Mint
The court will hear the matter next on 2 March, 2017. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The state of Madhya Pradesh moved the Delhi high court on Thursday, challenging the cease in supply of basmati breeder seeds from the Centre to the state on the basis of office memoranda.

In the matter, which was brought before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, notices were issued to the Centre and its reply sought before the next date of hearing, in time for the allocation of seeds for the next kharif season slated to begin in April-May, 2017.

It was submitted that the impugned memoranda were internal directions, not backed by a statute, and were therefore unconstitutional.

“The Centre had been supplying the state seeds for the last 20 years and had suddenly cancelled its supply for the khariff season this year by passing a series of office memorandum.” said J.Sai Deepak, counsel for the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The state has challenged two office memoranda dated 29 May, 2008 and 7 February 2014 and one letter issued by the Ministry of Agriculture on 5 May, 2016 on the grounds that they are beyond the scope of the Seeds Act, 1966.

It contended that the memoranda were unconstitutional as they ‘illegally expand the scope of the Seeds Act, 1966” and “encroach on the powers of the Registrar of Geographical Indications” by demarcating the geographical limits of Basmati cultivation and restricting it to the Indo-Gangetic plains.

The court will hear the matter next on 2 March, 2017.

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