The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of three farms laws until further orders and formed a four-member committee to hold talks with farmers over the Acts.
“Implementation of the three laws stayed until further orders,” said Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.
A three-judge bench, headed by the CJI, is hearing a batch of petitions, including those filed by DMK MP Tiruchi Siva, RJD MP Manoj K Jha, regarding the constitutional validity of three farm laws, passed by the Central government, and the plea to disperse protesting farmers.
“We are forming a committee so that we have a clearer picture. We don’t want to hear arguments that farmers will not go to the committee. We are looking to solve the problem. If you (farmers) want to agitate indefinitely, you can do so,” CJI Bobde said.
“We are concerned about the validity of the laws and also about protecting the life and property of citizens affected by protests. We are trying to solve the problem in accordance with the powers we have. One of the powers we have is to suspend the legislation and make a committee,” he said.
“This committee will be for us. All of you people who are expected to solve the issue will go before this committee. It will not pass an order or punish you, it will only submit a report to us… The committee is part of the judicial process in this case. We are planning to suspend the laws but not indefinitely,” he added.
The Apex Court also issued the notice on the Delhi Police’s application seeking to stop the proposed tractor rally on Republic Day by farmers protesting against the new farm laws.
Attorney General KK Venugopal said that if these farmers are allowed to enter, then no one can say, where they will go. To this, the CJI replied: “The police is with you (government)… Entry to the city will be a decision of the police.”
The Attorney General said that there is no question of a huge group of one lakh people entering the city on Republic Day. “We can’t say where they all will go,” he said.
The CJI said it is within police powers to control that and check if they are armed.
The CJI asked Attorney General, “If there is an infiltration by a banned organisation and somebody is making an allegation here before us, you have to confirm it. File an affidavit by tomorrow.”
The AG responded by saying that he will file an affidavit in this regard and place the IB records.
The Attorney General said the protesters have said that the tractor rally will take place on Republic Day and therefore an injunction application has been filed by Delhi police to stop that.
The Supreme Court issued notices on the Delhi Police’s application filed seeking to stop the proposed tractor rally on Republic Day.
CJI said we will say in the order that farmers may apply for permission to the Delhi police commissioner for protests at Ram Lila Maidan or other locations.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve, appearing for one of the petitioners said that the committee will help in an objective report before the court.
He said staying the implementation of the law should not be seen as a political victory.
“It should be seen as a serious examination of concerns expressed over the legislations. It should bring tempers down and bring confidence in people. The minimum sale price is not be dismantled, Salve said. Two things which are causing concern, land, and MSP,” Salve said.
Farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital since November 26, 2020, against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)