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On Monday, the Supreme Court has held the Delhi Police as the ‘first authority’ to decide as to whether the protesting farmers can be granted entry into the national capital or not.

The bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde made the above observations during the hearing of an application filed by the Delhi Police which sought an injunction against the tractor rally proposed to be carried out by the farmers in Delhi, on the event of Republic Day, to show their protest against the contentious farm laws.

Therefore, while noting that its intervention to resolve the deadlock over farmers’ protests against farms laws has been misunderstood, the top court said that it was for the Delhi Police to take a call if farmers’ should be allowed to enter the national capital with their tractor rally.

“We are not the first authority. We said this last time that entry to Delhi has to be seen under the Delhi police. You (Delhi police) are at liberty to invoke all powers under the law, to see whether farmers can be allowed in the city,” added the top court.

While the Attorney General requested the Court to pass an order to this effect citing that ‘it will strengthen our hand’, CJI asked ‘Does the Union of India want the court to say that you have powers under the law?’

Meanwhile, AG remarked that ‘We are facing an unprecedented situation and that the court can pass such an order as the entire issue has been taken up by the court.’ Nonetheless, CJI clarified that the Court has not taken up the entire issue and is dealing with only the aspect of protests.

“Our intervention has been strongly misunderstood. Who will come into the city and who will be allowed will not be seen by us. The question of entry into Delhi is a law-and-order situation that is to be determined by the police. We have told the AG and SG before that whether who should be allowed and who should not be allowed and the number of people who can enter is all matters of law and order to be dealt with by the police,” CJI Bobde told Attorney General K.K. Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

Further, the CJI added that the matter will be taken up when he sits on a Bench with Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian, since they were the puisne judges in the bench which had earlier on January 12 stayed the implementation of the farm laws and formed an expert committee to negotiate between farmers and the government.


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