Shimla: Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi government and Azadpur Agriculture Produce Marketing Crop. (APMC) to enforce a 10 year old law enacted by the Delhi government of putting an embargo of charging of commissions from farmers for selling their produce in Azadpur fruit and vegetable market, something which the BJP government here has claimed credit for.
In an interim order to a writ petition filed by HP Agricultural Marketing Board (HPAMB), the Delhi High court in an interim order passed on 2nd June has asked the Delhi government and the Azadpur Agriculture Produce Marketing Corp (APMC) to enforce the amended byelaws —- and not charge commission from sellers.
Speaking to the media here, Narinder Bragta, horticulture minister said, â€œAPMC amended its byelaws in 1999, wherein charging of commission by the Azadpur fruit merchants was to be paid by the purchasers and not the sellers.â€ Prior to 1999, under law charging of charging from sellers was permissible.
â€œEven though the new law was notified in Jan, 2000,â€ he said, â€œbut despite pleading before the Delhi government to enforce the new law several times, the Azadpur fruit merchants continued to illegally charge 6 % to 8 % commissions from apple producers from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and other states.â€
It was in response to a counter affidavit by Delhi government and APMC which “stated that commission is continued to be charge from the sellers only because of past practice” that Justice S Muralidhar of Delhi High Court in his order directed them to enforce the amended by laws and not charge commission from sellers anymore.
â€œThe Delhi High Court staying charging of commission from sellers is a historic decision for the countryâ€™s farming community who sell their produce in Azadpur, which is one of the largest fruit and vegetable markets in Asia,â€ said Bragta.
The minister said that it was BJP governments in Himachal and Delhi who were responsible for changing the law in 1999 but it was laxity of the Virbhadra Singh led congress government from 2003-07 and Sheila Dixitâ€™s congress government is Delhi that allowed fleecing of the farming community of crores of rupees in illegal commissions.
The minister asked opposition congress members to join issue in helping to recover the huge commission amounts from the Delhi fruit merchants that were collected over a ten year period.
Hailing the courtsâ€™ decision, Bragta said, â€œour governments stand has been vindicated.â€