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"Farmers' Acts Anti Farmer & Anti-Agriculturist": DMK MP Tiruchi Siva Moves SC Against News Farmers' Acts

Sanya Talwar
1 Oct 2020 3:11 AM GMT
Farmers Acts Anti Farmer & Anti-Agriculturist: DMK MP Tiruchi Siva Moves SC Against News Farmers Acts
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Tiruchi Siva, Member of Parliament (DMK) has moved the Supreme Court challenging three controversial enactments, the Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 (Act 20 of 2020), the Farmers' Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 (Act 21 of 2020) and the Essential commodities (Amendment )Act 2020 (Act 21...

Tiruchi Siva, Member of Parliament (DMK) has moved the Supreme Court challenging three controversial enactments, the Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 (Act 20 of 2020), the Farmers' Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 (Act 21 of 2020) and the Essential commodities (Amendment )Act 2020 (Act 21 of 2020).

Settled by Senior Advocate Mr P. Wilson, the petition is filed through Mr D Kumanan, Advocate ( Partner- Lawmen and White) on Record stating that the impugned Acts attack the very foundation of the agricultural fabric of the country that was built to safeguard the interests of the farmers and not leave them at the mercy of the new era of privatisation.

Elaborating on the repercussions of the said enactments looming large, the writ petition states that impugned Acts will now create an alternative that's outside the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), which could result in two perverse consequences. "One is that the APMC continues to set the reference price which will make no sense because if the private players still look to the APMC for a reference price, then the whole idea of getting rid of the inefficient APMC doesn't hold. Furthermore, Large-scale trade outside the mandi is bound to happen because new players will prefer to trade outside the mandi where they don't have to pay charges. APMC traders too might now prefer to operate outside the mandi for the same reason," the petition reads.

Delving upon the alleged unconstitutionality of the acts, the petitioner has averred that the Parliament has acted ultra vires of Article 246 of the Constitution by legislating the Acts the subjects related to agriculture are covered under Entry 14,18, 28, 30, 46, 47, 48 of List II, under the seventh schedule and thus, it is the State that has the legislative competence to draft policies or enact any law, with respect to the agricultural fabric of the country.

The Parliament has acted ultra vires of Article 246 by legislating the Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers' Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, since the same are not within its legislative competence under Lists I and III of Schedule VII of the Constitution. 

".... the basic fabric of federalism unites the Union and different States within an overarching political system in such a way so as to allow each to maintain its own fundamental political integrity. Therefore, the federal structure of our democracy cannot be permitted to be destroyed by the Union Legislature blatantly encroaching into matters purely within the domain of the State Legislatures," the plea reads.

Further, it is contended that essentially the Acts aim to take away the basic rights and safeguards that have been provided to the farmers on the subject of agriculture, like APMC Acts, and places the farmers "at the mercy of big corporate entities", by taking away the provision of Minimum Support Price and opening up the Mandi's to be controlled by the private players.

Inter alia, it has been stated that the acts are "anti farmer and anti-agriculturists", bought out with the sole intention to benefit few corporations who are close to the corridors of power.

"These Acts would pave way for cartelisation and commercialisation of the agricultural produces and if allowed to stand, are going to ruin India as the corporates can, with one stroke, export our agricultural produce without any regulation, and may even result in famines. Very soon, the country which fought for its independence from the British will have to wage war to free itself from the clutches of crony capitalism"- Excerpt of Plea

In this context, the plea seeks issuance of directions for declaration of the provisions of the Acts unconstitutional, illegal and void.


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