SC on farmers’ protest: Sympathetic to the cause but need to alter way of protest
Farmers' protest: The Supreme Court said it is thinking of forming a committee that will hear both sides. In the meanwhile, the protests would be allowed to continue as long as they are non-violent.
December 17, 2020 / 02:22 PM IST
The Supreme Court said on December 17 that it was familiar with the plight of farmers protesting against the new farm reform laws but urged them to alter the way the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest is happening.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, said that it would plead the protesting farmers’ case. The court said it was thinking of forming a committee that will hear both sides, saying that only staging a sit-in protest would not resolve the stalemate. The purpose would be served only by talking to the Centre, SC said.
In the meanwhile, the protests would be allowed to continue as long as they are not obstructive and not result in violence or damage.
"We are also Indian, we are familiar with the plight of farmers and are sympathetic to their cause. You (farmers) have to only alter the way the protest is going. We will ensure you can plead your case and thus we are thinking of forming a committee," CJI SA Bobde said.
The Supreme Court also observed that Delhi’s borders cannot be blocked during the protests. However, SC also said that it could not stop the protests.
The apex court added that it acknowledged the farmers' right to protest but it had to be non-violent.
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Suggesting that “such blockages” happen only during war time, Attorney General KK Venugopal had sought the court's direction for farmers to have a clause by clause discussion on the farm reform laws.
Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, are staging a sit-in protest at various borders of Delhi since November 26.
The farmers are demanding a complete rollback of the new farm reform laws and a guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system being retained. Multiple rounds of talks have ended in a stalemate. Protesting farmers fear that the new laws will dismantle the MSP system and corporatise farming.