NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a petition by certain residents of Sonipat in Haryana seeking directions to clear the Singhu Border currently occupied by farmers who are protesting against the farm laws enacted by the central government. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli opined that the matter is one which has to be heard by the high court concerned and not the Supreme Court since high courts would be more aware of the local conditions and also because the matter does not involve gross violation of fundamental rights.
At the outset, advocate Abhimanyu Bhandari, appearing for petitioners Jai Bhagwan and Jagbir Singh Chhikara, both residents of Sonipat, said that Singhu Border is like an “umbilical cord” for people of the city as it connects Delhi and Haryana but due to blockade this is hampering their right to movement. The petition said that even though the protests have been largely peaceful, the three primary locations of farmer protests are Ghazipur Border, Singhu Border, and Tikri Border, have been blocked by the protesters, thereby preventing free flow of traffic for the common people, patients and those in need of medical support.
The top court said that the invitation to interfere is very tempting but there are high courts, which can deal with the local issues.“Suppose, tomorrow there is a border dispute between Karnataka and Kerala or some other states. There will be no end to this. This court shall not be the first recourse. High courts are there to deal with local problems. We have a robust system in place,” the bench said.
“We can give you permission to withdraw and approach the high court. Why don’t you approach the high court being residents of Sonipat? Why are these petitions filed here for publicity? There is no need for us to intervene when high courts are well versed with the local conditions and what is happening. We should trust the high courts,” said the top court.
“The petitioner has the freedom to approach the high court which deals with maintaining a balance with freedom to protest and the freedom to access basic amenities. There is no gross violation of fundamental right. Let us (Supreme Court) not be the court of first recourse,” the bench remarked.