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Farmers Protest: Can Protests Be Allowed When The Matter Is Subjudice? Supreme Court To Examine

Srishti Ojha & Sneha Rao
4 Oct 2021 8:09 AM GMT
Farmers Protest: Can Protests Be Allowed When The Matter Is Subjudice?  Supreme Court To Examine
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The Supreme Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar observed that if a person has challenged legislation and approached the court and the matter is sub-judice should they then be permitted to protest? While considering the Writ Petition filed by Kisan Mahapanchayat, seeking permission to protest at Jantat Mantar, the Bench led by J Khanwilkar had asked what the point...

The Supreme Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar observed that if a person has challenged legislation and approached the court and the matter is sub-judice should they then be permitted to protest?

While considering the Writ Petition filed by Kisan Mahapanchayat, seeking permission to protest at Jantat Mantar, the Bench led by J Khanwilkar had asked what the point of protesting was if a matter was sub-judice.

Justice Khanwilkar observed:

"You can ask the court to decide the matter expeditiously that is a different issue. But how can a party which has gone to court go forward and seek permission to protest?"

"You are saying you want to protest, protest what? The Act has been stayed by the Court. The Centre has said it will not be implemented."
First we would like to decide the validity of the Act. Why do you want to protest the validity of the Act?"

Advocate Ajay Chaudhary, appearing for the Petitioner Kisan Mahapanchayat argued that the protest was not limited only to the enactment of the Farm Laws. The protest was also meant to be positive in nature, to seek the implementation of Minimum Support Price as a statutory right, among other issues.

The Bench then sought to know from the Petitioner what the stated objective of their protest as given in the Petition was. The Bench enquired who the Petitioner wanted to protest against.

Justice Khanwilkar remarked:

"What is the point of protesting at Jantar Mantar when the procurement authority are the states?"

The Bench further remarked that the Petitioner could either challenge the law in court or protest on road. 


"Either choose the court or the road."

Adv. Ajay Chaudhary for the Petitioner tried to impress upon the judges that the right to approach the court and protest were not mutually exclusive in nature. He argued that:

"Concerned efforts are required: Protect, dialogue, debate, challenging before courts."

The Bench responded that if the Petitioner had an issue with the fact that Centre was not filing Response on time then the Bench would issue orders to transfer the Writ Petition filed before the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench to the Supreme Court of India.

Attorney General of India, K.K.Venugopal agreed with the suggestion of the Bench. He argued that protests cannot be made to go on forever. Referring to the incident that took place in Lakhimpur Kheri on 03.10.2021 he argued that such protests destroy public peace.



To which the Justice Khanwilkar remarked: "Exactly! When such events happen no one takes responsibility! There is damage to property."

Justice C.T.Ravikumar interjected: "Persons also"

Attorney General of India K.K.Venugopal sought that the Bench pass clear orders specifying that when the court is hearing a matter then petitioners not be allowed to protest.

To which the Bench observed that the Petitioner's case was different as according to the affidavit filed, Kisan Mahapanchayat had never gone on protest. The Kisan Mahapanchayat was seeking permission to protest. The Bench observed that the issue needed detailed consideration of the court.

Having heard the Counsel for Petitioner, Attorney General of India K.K.Venugopal and Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, the Court passed the following order:

"After hearing, we deem it appropriate to examine the principal issue as to whether the right to protest is an absolute right and more so the Writ Petitioner having already invoked the legal remedy by filing Writ Petition should be permitted or assert that he can still resort to protest regarding the same matter which is sub-judice. "

Further, the Bench passed orders directing the transfer of Writ Petition filed by Kisan Mahapanchayat before the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench to be transferred to the Supreme Court of India and be heard along with the present Writ Petition.

Case Title: Kisan Mahapanchayat Vs. Union Of India | WP(c) No.854/2021

Click Here To Read/ Download Order

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