The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Madras High Court order to waive all farmers’ loans in Tamil Nadu. On April 4, the High Court bench had ordered co-operative societies and banks to not take action against farmers to recover crop loans and outstanding dues.

Earlier, the Tamil Nadu government had waived loans for farmers with landholdings less than five acres. The new order included all farmers, irrespective of the size of their landholdings. The development came after farmers from Tamil Nadu had staged protests (pictured above) at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for nearly a month, demanding drought relief from the Centre.

The High Court order had directed the state government to comply with the ruling within three months, but the Tamil Nadu administration had challenged the direction in the apex court. The state had argued that the order was “an interference in the domain of the economic policy decision of the government”, The Hindu reported.

“Unless the impunged order is stayed, the petitioner would be put to irreparable loss and damages,” the petition had said.