Clear pending dues of sugarcane farmers before clearing dues of bank: High Court

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Pune: In a relief to the sugarcane farmers, Bombay High Court has directed the Solapur Collector to clear the pending arrears of cane growers first and then clear dues of lender Bank, Bank of Baroda. The bench comprising of Justice NB Suryawamshi and Indrajit Mahanty issued order while hearing the order of property attachment issued by sugar commissioner against Siddheshwar Cooperative Sugar Mill in Solapur.

Sugar Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad had issued a property attachment order under the RRC after the mill failed to pay farmers dues. The Solapur collector initiated auctioning the mill’s sugar as per the procedure.

Following this, the Bank of Baroda moved to High Court against auction demanding first payment of loan granted by the bank to mill. The bank claimed as secured creditors they have the first right to the property. The judge directed the collector to carry out the auction and first, pay the pending dues of farmers and then of the bank.

The court order read, “On rough ascertainment, the Collector is likely to receive the sum of Rs 43 crore and the certificate value is Rs 39.40 crore for the crush year 2018-2019 that is the dues of the farmers. It is stated by the learned counsel for the Cooperative Society that the total value of sugar available in the godowns is approximately Rs 200 crore. Apart from this, it is brought to our notice by the Petitioner-Bank that the dues to Bank of Baroda are Rs 2 crore (approx). Therefore, we further direct that the Collector after remitting the sum of Rs 49.04 crore regards satisfaction of the proceeding in favour of the farmers and sugarcane, further sum of Rs 2 crore be immediately credited to Bank.”

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