The Supreme Court suspended the implementation of the three contentious farm laws until further orders. The top court has also constituted a four-member committee that will look into the grievances the farmers have concerning the three farm acts.
The committee will include Bhupinder Singh Mann former Rajya Sabha MP and President of All India Coordination Committee and the Bharatiya Kisan Union; Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi, director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute; Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and Anil Ghanvat, President of the Shetkari Sanghatna, Maharashtra. The top court has directed the committee to convene within 10 days. "The Committee shall, upon hearing the Government as well as the representatives of the farmers' bodies, and other stakeholders, submit a report before this Court containing its recommendations. This shall be done within two months from the date of its first sitting," the order read.
The apex court has directed the Centre to assist the committee and bear expenses for its functioning. The representatives of all the farmers' bodies, whether they are holding a protest or not and whether they support or oppose the laws shall participate in the deliberations of the Committee and put forth their viewpoints," the order said.
The bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde further observed that "While we may not stifle a peaceful protest, we think that this extraordinary order of stay of implementation of the farm laws will be perceived as an achievement of the purpose of such protest at least for the present and will encourage the farmers' bodies to convince their members to get back to their livelihood, both in order to protect their own lives and health and in order to protect the lives and properties of others."
The top court has also issued notice on a plea filed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who has sought an injunction against a proposed tractor rally or march that allegedly aims to disrupt Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
The top court's order came a day after it pulled up the Centre for its alleged mishandling of the crisis emanating from the farmers' protest. It was hearing pleas challenging the three farm laws namely Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance & Farm Services Act 2020, Farmers Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act & Amendment to Essential Commodities Act. Pleas seeking its stay, and its enactment were also heard along with pleas seeking the removal of the protestors at the borders of Delhi.
"We don't wish to make stray comments, but we are very disappointed with the way the Centre is dealing with this. We don't know what kind of consultation process was carried out for the farm laws that entire states are up in rebellion," CJI Bobde said on Monday. The bench had also reiterated its intent to form a committee that would act as a mediator between the protesting farmers and the Centre.
Updated On: 2021-01-12T18:31:24+05:30