NEW DELHI, JANUARY 11, 2021: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday said it was disappointed with the way negotiations between the government and the farmers have progressed on the farm laws.
The SC today heard a clutch of petitions challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders.
“What is going on? States are rebelling against your laws”, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde told the Centre.
“We are extremely disappointed with the negotiation process.”
The apex court asked the Centre to stay the laws till a committee constituted by it discusses the same and submits a report.
“We are not experts on economy; you tell us whether govt is going to put on hold farm laws or we will do this, the court said.
To the protesting farmers, the court said, “Whether you have faith or not, we are the Supreme Court of India, we will do our job”.
“Right to protest is intact. Right to protest should be exercised like Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Satyagraha’. Do it peacefully,” said the court on the farmers’ protest.
“The situation has worsened. People have committed suicide. Why are the elderly and women part of the agitation in this weather?” said the top court.
The Centre government and farmer leaders have held multiple round of talks — all remained inconclusive.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws.
The three Farm laws are — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The farmers fear the laws will rob them of MSPs (minimum support price) and, by dismantling government-controlled mandis, or wholesale markers, leave them at the mercy of the corporates.
Next round of talks between the centre govt and the farmers is scheduled for January 15.