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Farmers' Protest: Supreme Court to pass order today; hints at stay on implementation of farm laws

During the hearing on January 11, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde pulled up the Centre over the handling of the farmers' protest and asked the government, if it would suspend the implementation of the three farm laws or the Court should step in

January 12, 2021 / 09:00 AM IST
Supreme Court of India (SC).

Supreme Court of India (SC).


The Supreme Court will on January 12 pronounce its interim order on in a batch of petitions challenging the three agri-reform laws that have sparked protests by farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, at various Delhi border points since November last year.

The three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopana and V Ramasubramanian will pronounce the order.

During the hearing on January 11, the top court had hinted at its intention of putting the implementation of farm laws on hold to end the impasse between the government and the protesting farmers. The court observed that the steps taken by the government to break the deadlock have proven ineffective.

“You tell us if you will put on hold the implementation of the laws. Otherwise, we will do it. What is the problem in keeping it in abeyance? Chief Justice Bobde observed during the hearing on a batch of petitions against the farm laws.

Follow our LIVE BLOG on Farmers' Protest here

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The bench observed that the matter needs to be resolved by a Committee. The farmers’ unions have, however, shot down the proposal to go before a committee.

Attorney General KK Venugopal resisted the Court's proposal of staying the implementation of the law saying it is as good as staying the law which was not possible without examining a law.

After the hearing concluded on January 11, the Centre filed a counter affidavit in the top court saying that protesters were peddling an “erroneous notion” that the Parliament passed the farm laws without consulting or discussing with anyone.

"The Central government has done its best to engage with the farmers to remove any misapprehensions or misgivings in their minds and no efforts have been found lacking," the affidavit said.

Thousands of farmers, primarily from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at several Delhi border points for more than a month, demanding reversal of the laws, and a legal guarantee on minimum support prices (MSP) for their crops.

Several rounds of talks between the Centre and farmers’ union leaders have failed to end the deadlock so far.

The eighth round of talks between the Centre and the farmer unions on January 8 remained inconclusive as the Centre ruled out repealing the three laws.

The Centre said it would consider repealing the laws only if the top court termed them illegal. The government has said that it will follow directions of the top court in the matter. Another round of talks was scheduled to be held on January 15.

The two sides had arrived at some common ground in the sixth round of talks held on December 30 with the government agreeing on two of the four demands of farmers – removing stubble burning penalty on farmers and withdrawing provisions in the draft Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020, which intend to change the mode of subsidy payment to farmers.
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