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Farmers protest: We don't want anybody's blood on our hands, says Supreme Court

The apex court, which observed that the Centre has made these laws "without enough consultation", said the most serious concern is about any sort of violence and possible loss of lives.

Published: 11th January 2021 10:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2021 10:09 PM   |  A+A-

Farmers during their ongoing agitation against the new farm laws at Ghazipur border in New Delhi.

Farmers during their ongoing agitation against the new farm laws at Ghazipur border in New Delhi. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: "We don't want anybody's blood on our hands," said the Supreme Court on Monday while expressing apprehension that the ongoing farmers' protest against the new farm laws might lead to violence and loss of lives and property if it continues for long.

The apex court, which observed that the Centre has made these laws "without enough consultation", said the most serious concern is about any sort of violence and possible loss of lives.

"Responsibility is on all of us. Any stray incident can spark violence," said a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde.

"Each one of us will be responsible if something goes wrong. We don't want anybody's blood on our hands," said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

The bench said it is not going to protect any 'law breakers' and want to prevent any loss of lives and property.

The top court, which was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders, expressed its displeasure that the Centre has not been able to solve the problem.

"We are extremely disappointed with the negotiation process," the bench said, adding, "You have made a law without enough consultation resulting in a strike. So you have to resolve the strike."

During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, the top court questioned the Centre over the consultative process adopted for these laws.

"We don't know what consultative process you have followed before these laws. Many states are up in rebellion," the bench said.

Observing that there is not a single petition before the apex court which says that these farm laws are beneficial, the bench told the Centre, "It will not help you to say that this was started by last government. We are discussing constitutionality."

The apex court, while pulling up the Centre for its handling of farmers protest against the farm laws, said it will constitute a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India to resolve the impasse.

It said that former CJI R M Lodha could be asked about whether he is willing to head the committee.

The bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that he can also suggest two-three names of former CJIs who can head the court-appointed committee.

"We have talked to former CJI P Sathasivam but he refused saying he has problem in understanding Hindi," the bench said.

Mehta told the bench that representatives of some farmer unions, who were coming for discussion with the government, used to turn their chairs back or cover their eyes and ears when the ministers sat for meeting.

The bench said, "we can't say anything on this."

The top court would pronounce its order on Tuesday on various issues related to the new farm laws and the farmers' ongoing protest at Delhi borders.

Indicating amply that it may go to the extent of staying the implementation of the contentious farm laws, the apex court refused to grant extra time to the Centre to explore the possibility of amicable solution saying it has already granted the government a 'long rope'.

The eighth round of talks between the Centre and the farmer unions on January 7 headed nowhere as the Centre ruled out repealing the contentious laws, while the farmers' leaders said they are ready to fight till death and their 'ghar waapsi' will happen only after 'law waapsi'.

The apex court had earlier issued notice and sought the Centre's response on a batch of pleas against the three contentious farm laws -- the Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.



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  • a.k.sehanobis

    What an observation? First,they are supposed to say whether the laws are constitutional or not.They did not pass any judgement on that. Second,Ordinance was issued in September,why the Agitation now?In fact Punjab Govt.issued Gazette notification on 23 rd.nov.endorsing the law and similar action was taken by Delhi Govt. why this volte face now? Third,6% of the Farmers don't represent the country's entire Farmers.If they have not impleaded Supreme Court,it only means,they don't have Yogendra Yadav,Prashant Bhusan,Medha Patkar or Dushyant Dave.And who are they,are they Farmers or remotely connected with Farmers? Fourth,The first UPA in 2006 also contemplated a similar law but went out of steam.The Congress Manifesto of 1999 promised a similar law if voted to power. Sharad Power in his capacity as Agricultural Minister wrote to CMs indicating such an action.His interview with Sekhar Gupta has gone viral suggesting a similar move. Fifth,the problem is MSP is higher than the market price,so it has to be retained and the Middlemen who serve the interest of Vested Interest must not be touched. Sixth,Pepsi is buying potatoes directly from the Producers,similar is the case with Reliance Fresh.Are the Farmers benefitting or not? Seventh,even now the Farmers have not agreed to be a part of the Committee suggested by Supreme Court. Lastly,Gurucharan Das who has no political affiliation has appealed not to kill the Second Agricultural Reform.Nobel Laureate,Abhijit Banerjee in a debate on India Today also supported the reforms but put 2 riders,timing is not right and there should be more clarity on MSP and both were countered by Panagariah.Timings will never be right if one wants to describe that way.MSP has to be decided by the committee at the appropriate time taking into account the cost of production. Govt.did not do an Impact Analysis,took it for granted.
    14 days ago reply
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