Monday, December 11, 2023

Farmer protests: SC stays 3 farm laws, to set up committee after review

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A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court passed its verdict on the farm laws on Tuesday amid the ongoing protests on Delhi borders. Following the verdict, a stay has been ordered on the implementation of the three agricultural laws until further orders.  A committee has also been set up by the court to look into the grievances of the farmers.

The petitions brought forth before the court had included challenges to the constitutional validity of the farm laws passed by the centre as well as demands for the removal of farmers from the Delhi borders given the deteriorating situation of law and order in the area.

ML Sharma, the advocate representing the joint front of 40 protesting farmer Union told the court that farmers had expressed their unwillingness in being a part of any proceedings overseen by the court-appointed committee. The court, however, stated that it did not want to hear any such opposition and the formation of a committee was in the best interests of solving the problem at hand.

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“If you (farmers) want to agitate indefinitely, you can do so. Those who genuinely want a resolution will go to the committee”, said the CJI Bobde. Headed by former CJI RM Lodha, the other members of the SC set up committee will include Anil Dhanwat of Shetkari Sanathan, HS Mann of Bhartiya Kisan Union, agricultural economist Ashok Gulati and Dr. Pramod Kumar Joshi.

The court has further said that farmers may take permission from Delhi Police Commissioner to continue the protests at Ramlila Maidan or other locations. A notice has also been issued by the SC to various farmer unions in response to the application filed by Delhi police to stop the tractor rally from taking place on Republic Day.

Senior advocate, Harish Salve who represented one of the petitioners has said that the stay in implementation should not be seen as a political victory but rather a serious examination of the concerns brought forth by the laws. On Monday the court had expressed its disappointment with the way negotiations were being handled by the centre and had suggested a stay in laws.

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