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"Farmer Unions Will Not Appear Before Committee, They Are Totally Convinced That Farm Laws Need To Be Repealed": Dave, Bhushan Tell Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
20 Jan 2021 8:59 AM GMT
Farmer Unions Will Not Appear Before Committee, They Are Totally Convinced That Farm Laws Need To Be Repealed: Dave, Bhushan Tell Supreme Court
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The farmers unions are 'totally convinced' that the farm laws need to be repelled and therefore they will not appear before the committee to discuss amendments, submitted Advocate Prashant Bhushan and Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.Bhushan and Dave are appearing for the eight farmers unions which were added as respondents by the Supreme Court in December...

The farmers unions are 'totally convinced' that the farm laws need to be repelled and therefore they will not appear before the committee to discuss amendments, submitted Advocate Prashant Bhushan and Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Bhushan and Dave are appearing for the eight farmers unions which were added as respondents by the Supreme Court in December last year in the cases seeking removal of farmers protesting against the contentious farm laws from Delhi borders.

Bhushan told the Bench led by the Chief Justice of India that the farmers are especially agitating because the impugned Laws were passed without discussions, and without even voting in Rajya Sabha.
"The agitation is a way of putting democratic pressure on the government. What they fear is that if they get up and leave on the basis that the Court has stayed the laws, the pressure on the government will go away," Bhushan added with reference to January 12 order of the Supreme Court staying implementation of the three laws.

Bhushan and Dave told the bench that their clients have taken a stand to not participate in the talks held by the Committee constituted by the Court on January 12 to negotiate on the farm laws.

The bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasburmanian, recorded this submission in the order passed to issue notice on an application filed by Bharatiya Kisan Mahapanchayat seeking reconstitution of the committee.

Dave also clarified that his non-appearance on the last occasion (January 12) was due to his 'bona fide understanding' that the case was listed for orders and not for hearing.

He made this clarification after the CJI asked why he did not appear when the order constituting the committee was passed.

"Last time Dave said he will get instructions and he did not appear on the next day", CJI said.

"The matter was kept for orders. Your lordships did not give time to seek instructions. The order said matter was kept for orders. I got all reports  of arguments from LiveLaw, Bar & Bench. The matter was kept for orders. We did not appear because we were under the bona fide impression that the matter was kept for orders and not for hearing. I did not even get a link", Dave replied.


Counsel unions to change attitude, CJI tells Bhushan

The CJI SA Bobde on Wednesday observed that the protesting farmers and their unions should be counselled to change their attitude and look forward for resolution of the dispute.

"We are calling upon you to counsel your clients in such a way to bring peace. We want a resolution of the dispute.

We are requesting you to advise them to change their attitude and counsel them," CJI SA Bobde told Advocate Prashant Bhushan.

The remarks were made after Bhushan told the Court that the unions are not ready to appear before the Committee appointed for the purpose of holding talks with the Central Government on the three contentious farm laws.

Bhushan assured the Bench that he has been counselling the Unions to maintain peace and even on the proposed Republic Day rally, they wish to do it peacefully; to celebrate republic day.

"They have issued a call that there should be absolute peace," Bhushan informed the Bench.

At this juncture, the Attorney General intervened to state that 5,000 tractors are likely to enter Delhi on Republic Day and hence, it will be impossible to maintain the roads. "They will go all over the city," he submitted.

The CJI however expressed trust over Bhushan's submissions that the farmers wish to demonstrate peacefully, and told the AG that the matter is purely in the domain of executive.

"We Will Not Pass Orders, You Withdraw It":Supreme Court Allows Centre To Withdraw Plea To Restrain Farmers' Tractor Rally On Republic Day

During the hearing, the CJI had told the AG that the question of entry into Delhi is a law and order situation that is to be determined by the police.

"The norm is that police decides if permission should be granted or not. You are the executive of the country and have the authority to take the decision. You have powers to pass appropriate order please do that. The Court cannot interfere," the CJI observed following which the Delhi police withdrew its application seeking injunction against the rally.

Related development: Supreme Court Issues Notice On Plea For Reconstitution Of Committee To Resolve Deadlock Between Farmers and Govt

On January 12, the top court had stayed the implementation of the farm laws until further orders after observing that the Centre has failed in its negotiations. The SC also constituted a committee for talks. The Committee was asked to submit a report within 2 months. The Court also observed that all farmers union "shall" appear before the Committee, thereby making it clear that it was mandatory for the unions to participate in the talks.

However, the protesting unions said they will not appear before the committee.

The SC observed in its order that the staying the implementation will "assuage hurt feelings of farmers" and will "encourage them to return".

A notable feature of the composition of the committee was that all four members- BS Mann, Ashok Gulati, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi and Anil Ghanwat- have expressed open views in support of implementation of farm laws. The protesting unions said that they will not appear before a Committee which has only members representing a one-side view.

Following backlash, BS Mann later announced that he was recusing from the court-appointed committee.

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