New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday (January 11, 2021) heard a clutch of pleas challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing farmers’ protests at the borders of the national capital.
The bench headed by the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde criticized the Central government for its handling of farmers’ protests. It said that either the implementation of these statutes be held back or the top court itself will proceed to do so on the recommendation of a court-appointed committee which is to be constituted.
Here are the top highlights of the Supreme Court’s hearing:
– The SC said that it doesn’t think that the Centre is handling the issue correctly.
– The bench said that it has to take some action today as it doesn’t think that the Centre is being effective.
– It observed that if the laws are put on hold, then negotiations will have a chance to work out.
– The bench headed by CJI said that it is extremely disappointed with the negotiation process and don’t want to make any stray observations on Centre’s negotiations but are extremely disappointed with the process.
– The CJI also told the lawyers of the farmers to ask the protesting old men, women and children to go back home. “I am taking a risk and making a personal request. Please convey this message to them,” CJI Bobde said.
– The bench stated that it doesn’t see why there is an insistence on implementation of the law. It added, “We are not experts on the economy and you (Centre) tell us whether you are going to hold on these laws or we will do this?”
– The top court asked the parties to suggest two-three names of former CJIs including former CJI RM Lodha who can head the apex court-appointed panel.
– The bench said that till date it has not been told anything by the Centre on the proposal given by the top court to keep the implementation of these laws at abeyance for some time.
– It suggested that stay on implementation of these laws will help the committee in finding a solution.
– The bench told the advocates appearing for various farmer organisations that after the implementation of farm laws are put on stay, they can carry on protest. “We don’t want anyone to say that we stifled the protest,” added the bench.
Notably, thousands of farmers have camped at the Delhi borders since late November in 2020 and have been protesting against the three laws that were enacted in September – The Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.