19 Nov 2020 8:51 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Thursday restored for admission the petition filed by Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma which challenges the three farm laws that have been enacted by the Parliament recently and have attracted intense opposition from several farmers' groups across the country. In today's hearing, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde informed Sharma that there was no...
The Supreme Court on Thursday restored for admission the petition filed by Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma which challenges the three farm laws that have been enacted by the Parliament recently and have attracted intense opposition from several farmers' groups across the country.
In today's hearing, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde informed Sharma that there was no cause of action in the present case and that he had previously withdrawn his plea. "We remember this case clearly. You withdrew it. Why should we restore this? There is no cause of action", stated the CJI. Sharma, however, insisted that he had not withdrawn his plea as there existed a question of law. "Why should I withdraw? Please listen to this. Article 145(3) applies in this matter in toto. The only question that is to be answered is whether the Parliament has the power to come up with this Act or not", responded Sharma. Sharma further informed the Bench that he was not aware of how his petition had been withdrawn and had only been informed of the same later by the Court master. In light of the above, the Court directed for the plea to be restored and kept for admission. The matter will now be heard after two weeks. On October 12, the Supreme Court considered the admission of three separate petitions, of which one had been filed by Sharma, and the other two had been filed by office bearers of Chhatisgarh Kisan Congress and DMK MP Tiruchi Siva. While notice was issued in the latter two pleas, the Court observed that there was no cause of action in Sharma's petition.
"Where is the cause of action? In the Kusum Ingots case, the Supreme Court held that mere passing of a legislation does not furnish a cause of action", the CJI told Sharma, who was appearing as a party-in-person. "You go and acquire a cause of action. We don't want to reject your prayer. We will allow you to withdraw and come back when a cause of action arises", said the CJI.
The petition challenges the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Agriculture and Promotion) Act, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
The first mentioned Act seeks to enable the farmers to sell the farm products in places outside the market yards regulated by the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees(APMCS) established by various state laws. The second mentioned Act seeks to provide a legal framework for contract farming agreements. The third mentioned Act seeks to relax the food stock limits and the price control over food items like cereals, pulses, potatoes, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils under the Essential Commodities Act.
Sharma, in his plea, has stated that "Famers will be compelled to sign / put thumb impression on paper by force and his land, cultivated crops and freedom will be forever under the hand of the corporate houses belong to various political leaders. In fact, it is a butchering of the farmers through these notifications a serious threat to the life, liberty and freedom of the farmers and its family. Therefore, impugned notifications are liable to be quashed".