Taking note of the several PILs filed seeking removal of protesting farmers from the Delhi border, Supreme Court on Wednesday has issued a notice to the Centre and told the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that it is intended to set up a negotiation committee.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde, also comprising AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian stated that the negotiation committee should comprise representatives of farmers’ unions across India, the government, and other related stakeholders to reach a final solution.
“This will soon become a national issue and with the government, it won’t work out it seems,” the bench stated.
The matter was heard through video conferencing and the bench questioned SG Mehta that why farmer organizations are not made parties to the plea, and without making them the party to the plea, how orders can be passed.
CJI led bench directed the petitioners to make the protesting farmers the parties to the pleas and the matter has been posted for the next hearing on Thursday.
The apex court has also issued notice to the governments of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh to file their response by tomorrow before the winter vacation starts.
The bench told the Centre, “Your negotiations with protesting farmers have not worked apparently till now.”
Till now, five rounds of meetings have taken place to negotiate and resolve the issue. Amit Shah also met the protesting farmers and proposed some amendments to the recently introduced farm laws. But farmers denied the proposal as they want these laws to be scrapped altogether.
SG Tushar Mehta appearing for Centre told the apex court, “The government was and is ready for negotiations. The difficulty is the farmers’ ‘yes or no’ approach. Different ministers talked to them, but they turned their chairs back and did not talk.”SG Mehta also stated that the government will not do anything against the interest of farmers. He also submitted that some other interests have taken over the farmers’ protests.
To which CJI Bobde remarked, “Your negotiation will again fail as they won’t agree. Give us the names of organizations that can be before us. This will soon become a national issue and will have to be solved through negotiations.”
Advocate Reepak Kansal appearing for one of the petitioners stated, “There is no free movement. Ambulances cannot go. This a violation of Article 19(1)(a),(b) and (c).”
Further CJI Bobde stated that the petitions are ill-conceived and there is no real legal issue before the court. He further remarked that the only party before us who has blocked the road is you (government).
Replying to the remarks, SG Tushar Mehta explained before the court that it is not the government who blocked the road. Delhi police had been deployed in view of the ongoing farmer protests at the Singhu border.
“So, the only party who is actually on ground is you,” said CJI Bobde.
Counting to the world’s biggest-ever protest in history, farmers have been protesting against the three agriculture laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act & Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.