The three new agriculture laws at the center of a nationwide protest by farmers, have been put on hold by the Supreme Court for now. The country’s top court also said that a committee of agricultural experts would be formed to initiate talks with the farmers to see an end to this imbroglio. “It is a victory for fair play,” said the Supreme Court.
Protesting farmers have blocked several key highways leading to Delhi since the past two months while sitting in protests against the farm laws.
“We are staying the three farm laws until further orders,” Chief Justice SA Bobde said.
However, the government has said that the laws are a culmination of deliberation that spanned across two decades. These laws weren’t announced in a hurry in September.
In eight rounds of talks with farmers’ unions over the past month, the central government has declined to rescind the laws, but ready to bring in changes to them. This was not agreed to by the farmers in all the meetings as they called for complete obliteration.
While on the other hand the Supreme Court stepped in and put on hold the contentious laws passed by the government in the parliament.
The Apex Court said it was trying to solve the problem in the best possible way and had the power to suspend the laws.
“These are matters of life and death. We are concerned with laws. We are concerned with the lives and property of people affected by the agitation. We are trying to solve the problem in the best way. One of the powers we have is to suspend the legislation,” the Chief Justice said.
“We want to solve the problem and that’s why we are making the committee. Give the names to us, we will decide,” he added.
Committee formed to negotiate with farmers’ union
The Supreme Court while staying the laws has also formed a committee to discuss the matter with the farmers. It has named four members to the committee. Former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha has refused to head the committee. “I declined the offer to head the panel,” Justice (retd.) Lodha told the media.
The top court also issued a notice to farmers’ unions on a plea submitted by the Delhi Police to stop a tractor rally during the January 26 Republic Day parade.