Saturday, February 27

Axis Bank sticks to stand, tells government it cannot withdraw cases filed against farmers

Axis Bank on Wednesday told the State Government that it is not going to withdraw the cheque bounce cases filed against farmers in a Kolkata court, but will take steps to transfer the cases to Karnataka.

Farmers across the State have been protesting against the bank after it secured arrest warrants from a Kolkata court for loan defaults.

The bank officials attended a meeting called by Belgaum Deputy Commissioner S.B.Bommanahalli in Belgaum at the instructions of Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy, who has intervened to prevent arrest of farmers.

The banks has filed 744 cases against farmers across Karnataka, which include 180 cases in Belagavi district. Just about two dozen cases of them qualify to get relief under the crop loan waiver scheme announced by the JD(S)-Congress regime. Other loans were borrowed for purposes like buying of farm equipment including tractors and other machinery.

On Monday, Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy had told ET: “I have reviewed the entire case involving the Axis Bank and farmers in Belgaum district.

The bank has issued many tractor loans, which come under the agriculture lending portfolio, and collected post-dated cheques. I have no issues with lawful recovery proceedings from banks, but in this case, what Axis Bank has tried to do is to convert civil liability on the part of farmers into criminal liability, and intimidate farmers. That is not acceptable.”

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