Chennai, Mar 27 (PTI) The Madhya Pradesh government has filed a petition in the Madras High Court challenging an order passed by the Assistant Registrar of Geographical Indications here on March 15 excluding the state from being granted the GI tag for basmati rice.

The Madhya Kshetra Basmati Growers Association Samiti has also filed a similar plea.

Admitting the pleas recently, Justice M Duraiswamy ordered notice to the GI registry, Agricultural, Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and others returnable by April 23.

Madhya Pradesh contended that the order was liable to be set aside since it “relies on an extraneous and non-statutory metric such as popular perception to dismiss the case for GI tag”.

Besides the registrar order has treated Indo-Gangetic plains as the sole area of basmati production without offering reasons for the same in the judgment, the petitioner claimed.

In May 2010, GI status was given to basmati grown only in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and parts of western Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Madhya Pradesh moved a statutory opposition demanding that its 13 districts be recognized as traditional basmati growing regions.

The state claimed that 13 of its districts had been growing basmati for several decades and they were located in the Indo-Gangetic plains having climatic condition favourable for cultivation of basmati.

Non-inclusion of the state in the basmati growing areas would have an adverse effect on the lives of over 80,000 farmers who mainly depend upon basmati cultivation, it added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.