Consider Suspending New Farm Laws: SC to Government | India News
The immediate response of Attorney General KK Venugopal was: “That (postponement) is not possible.” When the high court said the government could consider this to help resume the stalled talks, it relented and said it would argue with the Center. However, Attorney General Tushar Mehta vehemently said the postponement was out of the question. The bank told the SG not to speak when the AG had already said it would discuss with the government and respond.
The court also observed that the constitutional right to protest of farmers could not interfere with the right of citizens to free movement.
The postponement suggestion came towards the end of an hour-long hearing before a bench of Supreme Court Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, where any progress on the controversial issue became a challenge, as neither of the major protesting farmers’ unions was represented.
In its comments, the court upheld the agricultural unions’ right to protest, but also noted that talks were needed or else the protest could drag on without results. He also pointed out that the right to protest should not infringe the right of other citizens to carry out their daily life and their business.
There was no result of the long hearing as only the Bharatiya Kisan (Bhanu) Union was represented by a lawyer. The government classified this faction as a non-entity. The SC asked the Attorney General to help deliver the petitions to protesting major farmers’ unions and, if the need arises, request an urgent hearing during the winter break. Since breaking the ice between the Center and the agitated agricultural unions seemed difficult, the court did not even give a definite date for the next hearing.
Importantly, the bank said that the SC would not interfere with the agricultural protests. “In fact, the right to protest is part of a fundamental right and, in fact, it can be exercised subject to public order. Certainly, there can be no impediment in the exercise of such rights as long as it is non-violent and does not give rise to damage to the life or property of other citizens and is in accordance with the law. At this stage, we are of the opinion that the farmers’ protest should be allowed to continue unimpeded and without protesters or protesters disturbing the peace. “said the bank led by the CJI.
He reiterated his intention to establish a committee to break the deadlock in the talks. “The purpose of the protest can only be achieved by talking and discussing the issues with the government. Otherwise, you (the farmers) will sit for years and nothing will happen,” the bank said. The Punjab government, represented by senior defender P Chidambaram, supported the formation of a committee.
The court said: “In order to achieve an effective solution to the current impasse between the protesters and the Government of India, we consider it appropriate in the interests of justice to set up a committee consisting of independent and impartial persons, including experts in the field of agriculture. for the purpose. This may not be possible without listening to all necessary parties. Until the parties appear before us, it would be advisable to get suggestions on the constitution of such a committee from all parties that may be presented by them on the date of the next hearing on the matter. ”
The tone for the remainder of the hearing was set by lead attorney Harish Salve, who appeared by a Delhi resident. He said: “No one opposes the right of farmers to protest against agricultural laws. But the question is, can it be at the cost of the fundamental rights of other citizens? The right to life of citizens is affected by the blockade. of roads, which is preventing the supply of food grains, vegetables and other basic necessities, prices are skyrocketing, this has affected the middle class that is going through a difficult time due to the pandemic.
“No fundamental right is absolute and it would be necessary for the court to determine the contours of the right to freedom of expression involved in the farmers’ protest and the extent to which this right can be exercised in a way that is compatible with the rights of other citizens.”
The bank responded quickly: “We are making it clear. We recognize the fundamental right of farmers to protest against a law. There can be no restriction of that right. But, at the same time, it cannot infringe the rights of other citizens to move freely. or their right to life. ”
The court said the petitions challenging the validity of the Agricultural Products Trade and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Products Act (Amendment) and the Agricultural Price Guarantee and Services Agreement for Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) would be decided later.