18 Jan 2021 6:20 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Monday told the Delhi Police that it is the 'first authority' to decide whether protesting farmers can be granted entry into the national capital or not. The observation was made by the Chief Justice of India while hearing an application filed by the Delhi Police seeking for an injunction against the tractor rally proposed to be carried out by farmers in Delhi on...
The Supreme Court on Monday told the Delhi Police that it is the 'first authority' to decide whether protesting farmers can be granted entry into the national capital or not.
The observation was made by the Chief Justice of India while hearing an application filed by the Delhi Police seeking for an injunction against the tractor rally proposed to be carried out by farmers in Delhi on the Republic Day to show their protest against the contentious farm laws.
"The question of entry into Delhi is a law and order situation that is to be determined by the police.
We have told the AG and SG before that whether who should be allowed and who should not be allowed and the number of people who can enter are all matters of law and order to be dealt with the by the police. We are not the first authority.
You are at liberty to invoke all powers under the law," CJI SA Bobde told the Attorney General.
At this juncture, the Attorney General requested the Court to pass an order to that effect saying "it will strengthen our hands".
CJI asked the AG : "Does the Union of India want the court to say that you have powers under law?
AG replied, "We are facing an unprecedented situation".
AG also told that the Court can pass such an order as the entire issue has been taken up by the Court. In reply, the CJI clarified that the Court has not taken up the entire issue and is dealing with only the aspect of protests.
"The intervention of the court has been misunderstood", the CJI commented.
The Application filed by Delhi Police stated that it has come to the knowledge of security agencies that "a small group of protesting individuals/organisations have planned to carry out a tractor/trolley/vehicle march on Republic Day" and that the march is "slated to disturb and disrupt" the parade as well as create a law and order situation, thereby causing embarrassment to the nation.
Highlighting that right to protest is subject to the countervailing public order and public interest, the Delhi Police submitted that the right cannot include "maligning the nation globally". Noting that the Supreme Court is seized of the issues pertaining to the constitutionality of the Farm Acts and the Farmers' protests, the Application sought for the Top Court to pass an injunction restraining such protest march scheduled on Republic Day.
The Supreme Court had issued notice on the petition on January 12. During the course of hearing today, the CJI remarked that he need not tell the Union of India that it has powers under law to tackle the situation.
AG : An order to that effect may be passed. That will strengthen our hands.CJI : Does the Union of India want the court to say that you have powers under law?AG : We are facing an unprecedented situation.#SupremeCourt#FarmersProstests #FarmLaws— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) January 18, 2021
AG : An order to that effect may be passed. That will strengthen our hands.CJI : Does the Union of India want the court to say that you have powers under law?AG : We are facing an unprecedented situation.#SupremeCourt#FarmersProstests #FarmLaws
The CJI said that the matter will be heard day after tomorrow as a different bench composition was present today. Justices L Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran were sitting along with the CJI on Monday. Justice AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian were the puisne judges in the bench which passed the order on January 12 on farmers protests.
The matter was accordingly adjourned till day after tomorrow, i.e. January 20.
The CJI also asked today if the farmers unions were appearing. Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave answered that he was appearing for the unions.
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.