On Monday, the Supreme Court has sought for Centre’s response on pleas challenging the constitutional validity of recently enacted three contentious farm laws.
The three-judge bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian were hearing the pleas filed by the Rashtriya Janta Dal lawmaker from the Rajya Sabha, Manoj Jha; Congress Lok Sabha MP from Kerala, TN Prathapan; and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, (DMK) Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu, Tiruchi Siva, and a petition filed by Rakesh Vaishnav. The petitions alleged that the three farm laws passed by Parliament would dismantle the Agricultural Produce Market Committees system intended to ensure fair prices for farm products.
“The Impugned Acts encourages corporatization of India Agriculture which is the lifeline of the poor farmers and key to the survival of the nation’s agriculture sector. The Impugned Acts primarily intends to sacrifice the interest of the farmers and leave them at the mercy of the Sponsors without any proper dispute resolution mechanism,” read the plea filed by Manoj Jha.
Subsequently, the CJI stated to the Attorney General KK Venugopal that “Instead of answering these in various high courts, you rather file a reply in this court.” Further, the bench issued a notice to the Central Government seeking its reply within four weeks.
On 27th September, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the three laws i.e. Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.