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"Your Negotiation Does Not Work Apparently, We Will Form A Committee To Resolve The Issue":Supreme Court On Farmers Protest

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
16 Dec 2020 8:10 AM GMT
Your Negotiation Does Not Work Apparently, We Will Form A Committee To Resolve The Issue:Supreme Court On Farmers Protest
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday indicated that a Committee, including members of farmers organisations, may be formed to resolve the deadlock and end the farmers protests. The observation was made by a Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde while hearing a batch of PILs seeking removal of farmers protesting at Delhi borders against the three Farmers Acts. The Court observed that the...

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday indicated that a Committee, including members of farmers organisations, may be formed to resolve the deadlock and end the farmers protests.

The observation was made by a Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde while hearing a batch of PILs seeking removal of farmers protesting at Delhi borders against the three Farmers Acts. The Court observed that the negotiations being held by the Government are not yielding results and if the dispute is not settled soon, it may become a national issue. 

The Court has granted permission to implead all concerned farmer organizations and has issued notice on the PILs, returnable tomorrow.

The CJI informed the Solicitor General that tentatively, a Committee will be formed with members of all farmers organisations from the rest of India. Otherwise, the Top Court apprehended, this will soon become a national issue and the Government may not be able to work out.

During the course of hearing, the Solicitor General assured the Court that the government will not do anything against the interest of farmers. He urged that a direction be made to the farmers organizations to sit with the government clause by clause, so that there can be a discussion or debate with an open mind.

At this juncture, the CJI remarked that the negotiations being done by the Government are not working.

He suggested that the talks will be successful only when both the sides are represented by such people who are actually willing to negotiate. The CJI therefore asked the SG to come up with the name of such an organization that is willing to negotiate. He also said to make sure that the authorities are willing to negotiate.

The Petitioners ha sought 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.

Advocate Dushyant Tiwari appearing for the Petitioners submitted that the verdict in Shaheen Bagh case already states that public places cannot be occupied indefinitely. He referred to paragraph 19 of the judgment which states as under:

"We have, thus, no hesitation in concluding that such kind of occupation of public ways, whether at the site in question or anywhere else for protests is not acceptable and the administration ought to take action to keep the areas clear of encroachments or obstructions." Advocate Om Prakash Parihar also tried to compare the incumbent Farmer's protests with the Shaheen Bagh case.

This prompted the CJI to remark,

"How many people had blocked the road there? Will the number of people not determine this? Who will take responsibility? There can be no precedent in law and order situation."

Advocate Reepak Kansal for the Petitioners submitted that there should be a balance. "There is no free movement. Ambulances cannot go. This a violation of Article 19(1)(a),(b) and (c)," he submitted.

The CJI then remarked that the petitions seem ill-conceived and there are no legal issues before the Court. He said, "The only party before us who has blocked the road is you (Government)."

The SG however clarified that the authorities have not blocked the roads. He submitted that the Delhi Police had been deployed as the farmers are protesting.

"So, the only party who is actually on ground is you," the CJI then remarked.

The farmers are protesting against the 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.

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

The Supreme Court has issued notices on a batch of petitions which challenge the constitutional validity of the said Acts.

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.


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