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'Farmers Protest Increasing COVID-19 Risk' : Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Immediate Removal Of Protesters

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
4 Dec 2020 11:00 AM GMT
Farmers Protest Increasing COVID-19 Risk : Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Immediate Removal Of Protesters
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A writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking immediate removal of protesting farmers from border areas of Delhi-NCR on the ground that they increase the risk of COVID-19 spread in Delhi.The writ petition filed by one Rishabh Sharma, a law student, through Advocate Om Prakash Parihar, states that the protesters are "posing a hurdle for accessing emergency medical services"."It...

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A writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking immediate removal of protesting farmers from border areas of Delhi-NCR on the ground that they increase the risk of COVID-19 spread in Delhi.

The writ petition filed by one Rishabh Sharma, a law student, through Advocate Om Prakash Parihar, states that the protesters are "posing a hurdle for accessing emergency medical services".

"It is submitted that since the virus is spreading rapidly and the cases of COVID-19 are increasing day by day in Delhi, it is paramount that this protest be stopped on immediate basis", the plea states.

The petition seeks a direction that the protesters be asked to shift to the places designated for protest and that they be directed to follow the COVID-19 norms related to social distancing and face-mask wearing.

The Petitioner seeks an "urgent direction for immediate removal/ dispersal of such mass gathering of protestors from at Delhi borders and shift them to the place already allotted by the Delhi police in view of immediate threat of coronavirus infection and spread".

Thousands of protesters, mostly from Punjab, have been camping in the border areas of Delhi-NCR since November 26 raising a demand that the Central Government repeal the recently passed farmers laws.

Explained: The 3 Farmers Bills And The Controversies Surrounding Them

After the support for the protests swelled, the Central Government invited the leaders for talks. However, the talks are yet to yield results and the protesters are standing firm on their demand that the laws must be taken back.

The petitioner states that after blocking the protesters initially, the Delhi Police had allowed them to camp peacefully at Nirankari Ground in Burari, Delhi, but despite that they have blocked the borders of Delhi and not allowing anyone to pass on these roads.

Notably, the petitioner refers to the recent judgment passed by the Supreme Court in the Shaheen Bagh protests case (Amit Sahni vs Union of India) to state that the protests blocking roads are illegal and unconstitutional.

Referring to this decision, the petitioner argues that protests which block the public way and cause inconvenience to commuters cannot be allowed, and indeterminable number of people cannot assemble wherever they choose to protest.

According to the petitioner, the protesters are liable to be prosecuted for offences under Sections 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code and the Epidemic Diseases Act.

"It is most respectfully submitted that life of lakhs of people protesting at Delhi Borders is at immediate threat since the virus is very contagious and if by chance this coronavirus disease takes the shape of community spread, it will cause a havoc in the country. Therefore, the immediate intervention of this Hon'ble Court and passing of appropriate direction for restricting mass gathering of people at any place is necessary", the plea states.

Majority of protestors are elderly people who are more vulnerable to this deadly virus, and it is in their best interest to completely avoid such mass gatherings, says the petitioner.

The Supreme Court has issued notices on a batch of petitions which challenge the constitutional validity of the three farm laws -Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act,Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act & Essential Commodities(Amendment) Act.

Interestingly, the Bar Council of Delhi has also written to the Prime Minister seeking the repeal of the laws saying that provisions barring the jurisdiction of civil courts over disputes under the Acts affect legal profession.


Click Here To Download Petition

[Read Petition]






 








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