NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed concern over the ongoing farmers’ protest and said there was absolutely no improvement in the situation and slated the hearing of all the petitions challenging the Centre’s new farm laws and the ones raising issues related to the agitation on January 11.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde’s observation came while it took up a petition filed by advocate ML Sharma, who had challenged the constitutional validity of the laws.In his petition, Sharma has alleged that the 1954 Amendment Act of the Constitution, which had included Agriculture in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, was passed improperly.
He has argued that the inclusion of agriculture in the Concurrent list was unconstitutional. Initially, the bench indicated that all the pending matters related to the legal challenge to farm laws, as well as the ongoing protest, will be taken up in the court on January 8. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Attorney General KK Venugopal objected to this.
Venugopal told the court that there is a good chance that parties may come to some conclusion soon, as another round of talks is scheduled for Friday. Mehta argued that since healthy talks are going on between farmers and Centre, it would not be advisable to take up the matters immediately. Adding to this, the A-G argued that filing of response in the court by the Centre could foreclose avenues of negotiations underway between farmers and Centre.
The bench then said it will like to take up the petitions challenging the farm laws on Monday. At least six petitions challenging the constitutional and legal validity of the three agri laws are pending before the apex court. Besides, two PILs have been filed seeking removal of the protesting farmers from the Delhi borders.
No invite to ‘anti-farmer’ Modi: Gurdwara Committee
Owing to his ‘anti-farmer’ stand, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided not to send special invite to PM Narendra Modi for the Sikh centenary events. Normally, the SGPC — the highest Sikh religious body — extends special invites to the PM and the President on historical occasions. “We have decided not to extend any special invitation to PM Modi for the upcoming centenary events, including the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur,” SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur said.
‘Unions must understand sentiments behind reforms’
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday urged protesting unions to understand the sentiments behind reforms brought through the farm laws. He also expressed confidence
that the unions will focus on farmers’ interests and help the government reach a solution through constructive dialogue. The government is committed towards the farmers and their interests, he asserted. The next round of talks is scheduled for January 8.