HYDERABAD: Causing much embarrassment to the state government, a division bench of the Hyderabad High Court dismissed an appeal by Telangana on Friday, stopping it from taking over the lands of farmers in Velimala village in Medak district in lieu of old loan dues to be repaid to the state. Dismissing the appeal, the court said acquiring lands forcibly will drive farmers to suicide.
The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice A V Sesha Sai made these observations while considering an appeal by the revenue secretary of Telangana State who challenged the order of a single judge, who directed the authorities to collect the dues with interest but refused to allow the state to acquire the farmers’ lands.
About 31 small and marginal farmers in Velimala village approached the high court after revenue authorities started taking over their lands in lieu of loans of `200 each taken by their forefathers from 1956 to 1959. According to the revenue authorities, as the farmers have failed to repay the loans, the state auctioned their lands. When nobody came to buy them, the state itself bought them at `1 per acre. Senior counsel C V Mohan Reddy, appearing for the farmers, said farmers had repaid their loans long back but the revenue officials have lost their records.