On April 28, Future Supply Chains Solutions Ltd has approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court to get directions for the removal of the illegal gathering of protesting farmers outside its storage facility near the Shambhu Kalan village in Patiala district.
The company has requested the court to direct immediate removal of the farmers’ blockade and provide safe passage to the group to run its business activities. The group said in its plea that perishable goods worth Rs.4 crore are in the storage facility, and if the blockage is not removed, the products will expire soon.
Products worth Rs.66 lakh already expired
In the petition, the Future group claimed that the packaged food articles, pulses, and food grains worth Rs.66 lakh have already expired in the storage facility. Another batch of products worth Rs.1.5 crore would expire in the coming days. The group said that these products need to be taken out of the storage facility on a daily basis by the employees in the facility.
Farmer protestors blocking the storage facility amidst Future-Reliance deal
The farmer protestors are reportedly blocking the store under the impression that the Reliance group is purchasing the supply chain of Future Group. However, the deal is pending as it is being challenged in the Apex Court by Amazon. Recently, the Supreme Court stayed all the case proceedings between Amazon, Reliance, and Future Group. The apex court has set May 4 for the hearing in the matter and has asked all parties to prepare all replies by then.
District administration is not doing anything, said Future Group’s counsel
The application was filed in the High Court via Future Group’s representative Akash Bharara who is a senior manager in the company. Advocate Sachin Rai Vaid appearing for the Future Group, argued that the blockage has caused significant financial losses to the company and has caused hardship to the people of Punjab where this particular store delivers the food items at a reasonable price.
The petitioner said that there is a casual workforce of more than 400 people whose livelihood is solely dependent on the running of the operations of the storage facility. They have been sitting unemployed because of blockage for the last four months. Vaid said, “The unlawful action of the farmers in creating the said blockade and the inaction of the district administration in getting the blockade removed is resulting in infringement of the fundamental rights of the petitioner company to carry on trade and business.”
Justice Mahabir Singh Sandhu directed the petitioner to place on record the copy of the license granted by the state authorities to store food items. The matter will be heard on April 29.