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Farmers Protest: SC suggests Centre to put implementation of farm laws on hold

Supreme Court on Farmers Protest in India against Farm Laws 2020: The Supreme Court on Thursday, while hearing the pleas seeking direction to immediately remove the farmers protesting at Delhi borders, said that “farmers have right to protest.”

The bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde, while hearing pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the three farms laws 2020, said that it will not decide the validity of the laws as of now.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian resumed hearing on farmers.

The top court stated that the first and the only thing we would decide today was regarding the farmers’ protest and the fundamental right of citizens to move. “The question of the validity of laws can wait,” it added.

The Chief Justice also said that “we recognize the fundamental right to protest against the laws and no question to curtail it. The only thing we can look into is that it should not cause damage to someone’s life.”

The CJI added that farmers have the right to protest. “We won’t interfere with it but the manner of protest is something we will look into. We will ask Centre what is the manner of protest going on, to slightly alter it so that it doesn’t affect the citizens’ right of movement,” it stated.

“A protest is constitutional till it does not destroy property or endanger life. Centre and farmers have to talk; We are thinking of an impartial and independent committee before whom both parties can give its side of the story,” said CJI.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court stated that the committee will give a finding which should be followed. The protest can go on in the meanwhile, CJI said on farmers protest in India at Delhi borders.

“The independent committee can have P Sainath, Bhartiya Kisan Union, and others as members, the CJI suggested, adding that “You (farmers) cannot instigate violence and cannot block a city like this.”

Meanwhile, Attorney General KK Venugopal said, “None of them wears a face mask, they sit together in large numbers. COVID-19 is a concern, they will visit villages and spread it there. Farmers cannot violate the fundamental rights of others.”

Likewise, Senior advocate P Chidambaram representing the Punjab government, stated that “Many farmers are from Punjab. The State has no objection to the Court’s suggestion that a group of people can facilitate dialogue between farmers and the Centre. It is for farmers and the Centre to decide who’ll be on the committee.”

To this, Chief Justice of India said, “Blocking Delhi may lead to people in the city going hungry. Your (farmers) purpose can be fulfilled by talking. Just sitting in protest won’t help.”

Bobde added that “We are also Indian, we’re familiar with the plight of farmers and are sympathetic to their cause. You (farmers) have to only alter the way the protest is going. We will ensure you can plead your case and thus we are thinking of forming a committee.”

CJI, while hearing a plea regarding farmers’ protest near the Delhi border, said that a notice has to go all protesting farmers’ bodies and suggested that the case be placed before a vacation bench of the court during winter break. To this, AG said, “notice has to be served to all the farmers’ representatives who have been part of the government talks so far.”

The Supreme Court asked the Centre to explore the possibility of putting farm laws 2020 on hold. The top court also asked the Attorney General “if the government can assure the Court that it will not take any executive action on implementation of the law till the court hears the matter.”

The Attorney General asked, “what kind of executive action? Farmers will not come for discussion if this happens.” “It’s to enable discussions,” CJI replied.

The Supreme Court, while hearing a plea on Farmers protest in India, suggested Centre put the implementation of farm laws on hold and said that it will enable negotiations with farmers. To this, the Centre told SC if the implementation of farm laws is put on hold, farmers will not come forward for negotiations. SC said it will order for serving of notices to protesting farmer unions and give them the liberty to approach vacation bench.

SC allowed farmer unions to be included in the case, vacation bench may hear the case. CJI also said, “Will pass any orders only after hearing all parties.”

SourcePTC News
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