The Supreme Court Tuesday suspended the implementation of the three farm laws until further notice and set up a committee comprising experts to hear the parties and understand the ground situation.A bench, which was headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, justice AS Bopanna and justice V Ramasubramanian, said that it will pass an order to this effect later.
The top court has setup a committee of experts to hold talks between the government and farmers unions who have been protesting for over a month against the newly-introduced laws. The Centre and farmer unions have engaged in eight rounds of talks so far, but failed to find a resolution.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at the borders of Delhi since 26 November 2020, demanding the repeal of the farm laws enacted in September 2020.
The government has presented these laws as major agri-market reforms aimed at improving farmers’ income, the protesting unions find these Acts as pro-corporate and against the existing MSP system.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) January 12, 2021
The next round of talks between protesting farmers and the Union government is expected to be held on January 15.
The court was hearing a batch of a petition challenging the three controversial agricultural laws and the farmers’ round-the-clock sit-ins on the outskirts of New Delhi. The Supreme Court on Monday said that it was “extremely disappointed” with the way negotiations are going on between the Centre and farmers over the newly-enacted agriculture laws.
— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2021
“This is not politics. There is a difference between politics and judiciary and you will have to cooperate,” the bench, headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The SC also sought response from the Centre on whether a banned organisation had infiltrated the farmers’ protests. The direction came after P S Narasimha, who represented a petitioner supporting the farm laws, claimed members of ‘Sikhs for Justice’ were helping the protests. Saying it had information of Khalistanis in the protests, the Attorney General said he would file an affidavit with Intelligence Bureau records by Wednesday.
CJI says those genuinely interested to find a solution will have to go before the proposed committee. We are looking to solve the problem. @IndianExpress
— Ananthakrishnan G (@axidentaljourno) January 12, 2021
Advocate M L Sharma, who is among the petitioners challenging the farm laws, tells the Supreme Court the farmers are unwilling to appear before a committee. According to Live Law, the CJI tells Sharma the Court is concerned about protecting the life and property of citizens affected by the farmers’ protests. “We are trying to solve the problem in accordance with the powers we have,” the CJI is quoted as saying by Live Law.
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) January 12, 2021