Agents late,fail to file plea in HC against curb on potato trade

Meanwhile,Subrata Biswas,principal secretary,department of agriculture and marketing,said they were ready for a legal explanation.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: November 19, 2013 2:25 am

A writ petition challenging the government notification restricting free movement of potatoes for trade could not be filed Monday as the agents who were to move it,failed to reach the Calcutta High Court on time. Their counsel,Sukumar Bhattacharya,however,said it would be filed Tuesday.

“Two agents —- one from Bankura and the other from East Midnapore —- would file the writ petition against the government notification which restricts the free movement of potatoes within and outside the districts. The notification curbs the constitutional right of the traders to carry out business freely,” Bhattacharya said.

He said the agents may also claim compensation for the losses they had incurred for being unable to send potatoes to other districts and states where they had been in a prior agreement with buyers.

Bhattacharya said the state could intervene in the trade of essential commodities,but not “potato as its is not included in the schedule of essential commodities.”

Meanwhile,Subrata Biswas,principal secretary,department of agriculture and marketing,said they were ready for a legal explanation.

“We have got a notice from only one agent from Bankura. If the HC asks us for an explanation,we will present one,” he said and added that according to the West Bengal Agricultural Produce Marketing Control and Regulation Act 1974,the state government had the right to control all agricultural produce,including potatoes and paddy.

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