Big blow for Centre: SC stays implementation of farm laws
Handing over a huge blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of three farm laws that triggered a massive farmers' agitation. A bench, led by CJI SA Bobde, added that a committee will be formed for negotiations, hoping that experts may end the crisis. "We are staying three farm laws until further orders," the CJI directed.
Background: Farmers demanded that laws are repealed, Centre held talks
Since November, farmers have been camping at Delhi borders, to lodge a protest against farm laws, passed in mid-September. They believe the reforms would be detrimental to them, although the government has repeatedly said these laws would help in increasing their income. After farmers launched the agitation, the government initiated dialogue. So far, eight rounds of talks have happened, but they remained inconclusive.
Yesterday, SC hinted a stay was likely, Centre had objected
As both parties could not reach an agreement, the matter reached the top court. SC expressed concern during hearings and yesterday, pulled up the Centre. The bench outrightly said that the union of India has failed to end the deadlock. When SC suggested it could put a stay on laws' implementation, the Centre's representative said it would set the wrong example.
'We have the power to suspend the legislation'
Today, the bench again warmed up to the idea of staying laws' implementation. "These are matters of life and death. We are concerned with laws. We are concerned with the lives and property of people affected by the agitation. We are trying to solve the problem in the best way. One of the powers we have is to suspend the legislation," CJI Bobde remarked.
CJI-led bench proposed four names for committee
Further, the SC proposed names of Ashok Gulati, Harsimrat Mann, Pramod Joshi, and Anil Ghanwat for the committee, reports LiveLaw. A detailed verdict will be out later today. During the proceedings, lawyer Harish Salve urged that when the judgment is passed, it should be added that it's not a victory for any party. "It is a victory for fair play," CJI Bobde replied.
Lawyer said PM must participate in discussions
At one point, advocate ML Sharma, appearing for protesting farmers, said they want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be a part of the discussion. "We cannot ask the Prime Minister to go. He is not a party here," responded CJI Bobde. The court was visibly upset after senior lawyer Dushyant Dave, who was supposed to submit farmers' views on the committee, remained absent.
Farmers can seek permission to protest at Ramleela Maidan: SC
Separately, senior lawyer Vikas Singh said farmers need a designated place to protest. He suggested that they can stage the agitation at Ramleela Maidan or even the Boat Club Area. Understanding this, CJI Bobde said, "We will say in the order that farmers may apply for permission to the Delhi Police commissioner for protests at Ramleela Maidan or other locations."
Meanwhile, farmers' unions were issued notice on R-Day's tractor rally
Further, the top court also issued a notice to farmers' unions on a plea, filed by Centre through Delhi Police, to halt the tractor rally planned for Republic Day. Some 20,000 tractors are expected to participate in the march. The Centre argued that this rally will not only cause serious law and order problems but also embarrass the nation globally.