The Supreme Court of India on January 11 reiterated the need for a committee to discuss the farm reform laws, saying it would stay their implementation if the said panel advised doing so.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde was hearing a clutch of pleas challenging the new agriculture reform laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders.
During the hearing, the apex court said it is extremely disappointed with the way negotiations are going on between the Centre and the farmers on the new farm reform laws.
Also read | SC asks Centre to put farm laws on hold, set up committee to find solution
Here are the key highlights of the SC hearing:
> We are extremely disappointed with the way negotiations are going on between government and farmers over new farm laws, said SC. We don't want to make any stray observations on your negotiations but we are extremely disappointed with the process, said the bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
> We are not talking about the repeal of these farm laws at the moment, said the top court.
> This is a very delicate situation, the bench said, adding, there is not a single petition before them which says that these laws are beneficial.
> The apex court said that its intention was to see the negotiated solution but no response from Centre on willingness to put farm laws on hold.
> We don't know whether people are observing social distancing but we are concerned about the farmers getting food and water during the agitation, said the court.
> The bench told the Centre that they are not experts on the economy. It asked the Centre to tell them whether the government is going to put on hold farm laws or they will do this.
> We are sorry to say that Centre has not been able to solve the problem and the farmers’ agitation, said the bench.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, are staying put at various border points of Delhi since late November last year to protest against the three laws - the Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
The eighth round of talks between the Centre and the farmer unions on January 7 appeared heading nowhere as the Centre ruled out repealing the contentious laws while the farmer leaders said they are ready to fight till death and their 'ghar waapsi' will happen only after 'law waapsi'.