Court returns rice petition

The Constitution Court has ordered academics to resubmit their petition seeking a court order to suspend the rice mortgage scheme, saying they failed to specify which section of the charter their request was being submitted under.

As a result, the petition was not in line with the court’s regulations on methods for consideration and judicial ruling, Pimol Thampitakpong, the court’s head spokesman, said on Monday.

The petitioners had been told to revise their petition and resubmit it to the court, he said.

“The petition, so far, appears to be groundless. The court ordered the petitioners to correct it and make it clearer as well as submit nine duplicate copies in order to meet court regulations,” Mr Pimol said.    

The petition was co-signed by Dr Adis Israngkura na Ayudhaya, dean of the Economic Development Faculty of the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida), and 145 academics and submitted to the court last week. The group wanted the controversial programme to be temporarily suspended and adjusted by the government, saying it has damaged the country's rice trading while paddy farmers were getting little benefit from it.

The petitioners also said the scheme was a breach of the charter's Section 84 (1), which requires the government to support open and fair market competition and prohibits it from running a business in competition with the private sector unless for national interests.

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