The orders were passed by a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Suneet Kumar on Tuesday while hearing a petition filed by the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Union.

The petitioner had alleged that despite clear instructions and directives of the HC, the district magistrates of 10 districts in western UP had suo moto extended the dates of arrear payments.

District magistrates of Meerut, Hapur, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Maharajganj, Budaun, Kasganj, Bahraich and Pilibhit have been asked by the HC now to submit personal affidavits on why they have not complied with the earlier orders issued last year.

The officials have also been asked to explain why contempt proceedings not be initiated against them.

The lawyer of the petitioner said that the court took cognizance of the fact that the DMs of these 10 districts did not comply with its earlier orders of September 2014 seeking payments of all arrears to cane growers by October 31, 2014.

A dozen sugar mills in these districts owe about Rs 724.24 crore to cane growers. Of the total 119 sugar mills in the state, 107 had begun payments and only 12 have faltered on the dues.

During court proceedings, the standing counsel of the state government said that of the 12, the management of some sugar mills had gone into an agreement with the sugarcane growers of extending the payment deadline till March 31, 2015.

But V M Singh, the counsel of the petitioner, said the extension of payment deadline was not only arbitrary but also contempt of court.

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