SC refuses to hear plea on Singhu border farmers' protest
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a petition seeking directions to clear the Singhu border where farmers are protesting against the controversial farm laws. The plea—filed by residents of Sonepat, Haryana—argued that the farmers' protests disrupt travel for essential needs. The SC said the matter needs to be heard by the relevant High Court which will be more aware of local conditions.
Slamming the petitioners, the bench said the petitioners had filed the plea in the SC for "publicity." "Why don't you approach the High Court being residents of Sonepat? There is no need for us to intervene when the HCs are well versed with the local conditions," the court said. The SC further said that the matter does not involve gross violation of fundamental rights.
Declining the petition, the SC said it cannot become the first recourse in the matter. The court said the petitioner has the freedom to approach the HC which "deals with maintaining a balance with freedom to protest and the freedom to access basic amenities..."
Representing the petitioners, advocate Abhimanyu Bhandari argued that the Singhu Border is the "umbilical chord" for the people traveling from Haryana to Delhi. The petitioner said the farmers' protest poses difficulties to people traveling to Delhi for essential needs. The petitioner later sought liberty to approach the HC, but SC refused, saying the HC will deal with it in the best way.
The SC said, "Why should we direct the High Court to hear? It is a human issue, the High Court will deal with it the best way." Justifying its position to not interfere in the case, it said, "The invitation to interfere is tempting...but will we do so if there is a problem with border in Karnataka, etc? There is no end to this."
It has been over nine months since farmers have been protesting against three farm laws at the borders of Delhi, including the Delhi-Haryana Singhu border. The farmers are mainly demanding the repeal of the farm laws which they think will take away the minimum support price for their crops. Despite several rounds of talks between the Centre and farmer leaders, consensus remains far-fetched.