New Delhi: The Supreme Court is going to pronounce orders on the new farm laws and farmers’ protests on Tuesday (January 12, 2021). The news comes following the apex court’s hearing on Monday on the batch of petitions challenging the three farm laws and seeking the removal of agitating farmers who have camped at the borders of the national capital.
Thousands of farmers have gathered at the Delhi borders since late November 2020 fighting against the farm laws. They are demanding that the laws must be repealed.
Earlier in the day, 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.
The bench said, “We do not think the Centre is handling the issue correctly. We have to take some action today. We don’t think you are being effective. If laws are put on hold then negotiations will have a chance to work out.”
It added, “We are extremely disappointed with the negotiation process. We don’t want to make any stray observations on your negotiations but we are extremely disappointed with the process.”
Chief Justice Bobde repeated a suggestion that the Centre pause the legislation while farmers’ concerns are heard and said the court would pass orders if the two sides remained at an impasse.
The top court asked the parties to suggest two-three names of former CJIs including former CJI R M Lodha who can head the apex court-appointed panel.
CJI Bobde also told these lawyers to ask the protesting old men, women and children to go back home.
The CJI told the lawyers of the farmers, “I am taking a risk and making a personal request. Please convey this message to them.”
Meanwhile, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha in an official press release said, “While all organisations welcome the suggestions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court to stay the implementation of the farm laws, they are collectively and individually not willing to participate in any proceedings before a committee that may be appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
“Looking to the attitude and approach of the Govt which made it clear before the court today repeatedly that they will not agree to the discussion for repeal before the committee,” the press note added.
It also read, “As requested by our lawyers before the Hon’ble Supreme Court today repeatedly they had no instructions to agree for committee without consulting the organisation involved, we met our lawyers this evening at length and after deliberation on pros and cons of the suggestions of to the committee, we informed them that we are unanimously not agreeable to go before any committee. That may be appointed by Hon’ble Supreme Court today due to stubborn attitude of the government.”
The farmers have been protesting against these 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.