Entry of agitating farmers into Delhi on R-Day: Delhi Police to decide: SC

By: |
January 19, 2021 2:15 AM

When the AG submitted that the Centre was seeking restraint order on farmers rally as the SC had taken charge of the case, the CJI said that “we have not taken charge of the case except one issue. And our intervention is grossly misunderstood.”

The apex court then adjourned the case till Wednesday as it was not the original bench which is hearing the case.The apex court then adjourned the case till Wednesday as it was not the original bench which is hearing the case.

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to go into the issue of allowing entry of protesting farmers into Delhi for the proposed tractor rally on the Republic Day, saying it’s a “law and order” matter to be dealt by the Delhi Police.

A Bench led by Chief Justice S A Bobde said that it cannot act as the “first authority” to decide on whether the protesting farmers should be allowed inside the city and that is the call of the Delhi Police, which is at liberty to invoke all powers under the law to deal with the law-and-order situations.

“It is for Delhi Police to decide if (farmers are) allowed to enter, how many of them and on what conditions. Who should be allowed and the number of people to enter is all matters of law and order to be decided by the police? We are not the first authority,” the CJI told Attorney General KK Venugopal, who argued that the situation at hand was “extraordinary”.

“But why do you want us to tell what powers you have? Does the Supreme Court say as to what are the powers of police and how they will exercise them under the Police Act? We are not going to tell you what to do,” the Bench, also comprising Justices LN Rao and Vineet Saran, said.

When the AG submitted that the Centre was seeking restraint order on farmers rally as the SC had taken charge of the case, the CJI said that “we have not taken charge of the case except one issue. And our intervention is grossly misunderstood.”

The apex court then adjourned the case till Wednesday as it was not the original bench which is hearing the case.

The Centre in its application filed through the Delhi Police had sought to restrain anyone from conducting any protest march either in the form of tractor march, trolley march, vehicle march or any other mode by entering into the National Capital Region Territory of Delhi. It said that any proposed rally or protest which seeks to disrupt and disturb the Republic Day celebrations will cause an “embarrassment to the nation”.

The apex court had last week suspended the implementation of three controversial farm laws that have caused massive protest from farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, who have been camping near Delhi’s borders for more than a month. While it had set up a four-member committee to break the deadlock and facilitate the resolution of the issues between the farmers and the government, Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Bhupinder Singh Mann, one of the members of the expert panel had recused from the committee after concerns were raised regarding his neutral stand on the issue.

The other three members are Parmod Kumar Joshi, Agricultural Economist, Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute, Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist and Former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices and Anil Ghanwat, President, Shetkari Sanghatana,
The top court had also ordered that the Minimum Support Price System in existence before the enactment of the farm laws shall be maintained until further orders and no farmer shall be dispossessed or deprived of his title as a result of any action taken under the Farm Laws.

Besides, the representatives of all the farmers’ bodies, whether they are holding a protest or not and whether they support or oppose the laws were asked to participate in the deliberations of the committee and put forth their viewpoints.

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