HYDERABAD: The Telangana government on Wednesday complained to the Hyderabad High Court that companies like Monsanto and their Indian associates like Mahico Monsanto, are exploiting farmers in Telangana.
The state said its effort to rein in such unscrupulous market players was thwarted by a single judge who stayed its intervention. "Hence, we filed this appeal to get the stay vacated", said senior counsel C S Vaidyanathan, who appeared for the Telangana government.
He said several farmers had committed suicides due to heavy input costs etc He informed the bench of acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice S V Bhatt that though Monsanto was charging only Rs 23 as royalty per pack of BT cotton seeds, its Indian partner Mahico and several seed manufacturers were fleecing farmers by collecting Rs 1,250 as royalty per pack. The government had fixed Rs 50 as royalty per pack.
Vaidyanathan further said that Monsanto does not possess any patent for its BT1 cotton seeds variety. It possesses a patent only for its BT2 variety, but has been collecting royalty on both varieties. It should not collect any royalty for the BT 1 variety, he said.
Appearing for Monsanto, senior counsel Abhishek Singhwi questioned the delay in filing an appeal as the court had stayed the said why the government had made an appeal told the bench that the state is shedding crocodile tears for farmers. He questioned how the state, whose GO three months ago. , could approach the court with an appeal now. "What was it doing for the last three months," he asked? "Our royalty charge is not more than Rs 100 per pack and not Rs 1,000 or more as is being alleged," he said. Singhwi also charged the seed manufacturers of running a proxy legal war, citing several pending writ petitions filed against Monsanto in Mumbai and in Hyderabad. "We don't have any problem if the state brings down the price of BT cotton seeds. All that we are saying is that state cannot fix royalty charges," he said. The bench directed both the parties to file written submissions and posted the case to December 23 for further hearing.
Originally Published: The Times of India