SC says Delhi Police to decide on R-Day tractor march, asks farmer unions to 'not malign' panel members
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre on Wedneday withdrew its plea seeking injunction against the proposed tractor rally by protesting farmers in Delhi on January 26. This came after the Supreme Court refused to pass an order on the petition, saying it had said that it's a police matter.
"We have said that it is for the police to decide. We are not going to pass the orders. You are the authority to take action," said Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.
On Monday, the bench headed by CJI had told the Centre that the proposed tractor rally on the Republic Day by farmers protesting against the new farm laws is a “law and order” matter and Delhi Police is the first authority to decide who should be allowed to enter the national capital.
The Centre's application sought an injunction against the proposed tractor or trolley march or any other kind of protest which seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations on January 26.
The Centre, in the application filed through Delhi Police, has said that any proposed march or protest which seeks to disrupt and disturb the Republic Day celebrations will cause an “embarrassment to the nation”.
'Panel has no power to decide, where is bias?': SC to farmers
On an application filed by the farmer unions seeking change in the panel formed by the top court, the CJI said that people "unthinkingly cast aspersions". The farmer unions have alleged that the panel members are "pro-government" and have been speaking in favour of the farm laws.
"No power has been given to committee members to adjudicate things, they have to report to us. Where is the question of bias? If you don't want to appear before committee, don't appear but don't malign or brand anyone like this, don't cast aspersion on the court," the CJI said.
The bench issued notice on the plea filed by Kisan Mahapanchayat to reconstitute the Committee after one member recused from it.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for eight farmer unions, said that the farmers only wanted to celebrate Republic Day on Delhi's Outer Ring Road and there was "no attempt to destroy peace."
On January 12, the top court had stayed the implementation of the contentious new farm laws till further orders and constituted the four-member committee to make recommendations to resolve the impasse over them between the Centre and farmers' unions protesting at Delhi borders.
The members of the court-appointed committee were -- Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President of Bhartiya Kisan Union, All India Kisan Coordination Committee; Parmod Kumar Joshi, Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute; Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, and Anil Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sanghatana. Later, Mann had recused himself from the court-appointed committee.
The top court had on January 12 said it would hear the pleas against the farm laws after eight weeks when the committee would give its suggestions to resolve the impasse after talking to the protesters and the government.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi for over a month now against the three laws -- the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act.
Enacted in September 2020, the government has presented these laws as major farm reforms aimed at increasing farmers' income, but the protesting farmers have raised concerns that these legislations would weaken the minimum support price (MSP) and "mandi" (wholesale market) systems and leave them at the mercy of big corporations.
The government has maintained that these apprehensions are misplaced and has ruled out a repeal of the laws.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta