SC stays implementation of farm laws; forms committee to resolve impasse

The farmer unions, however, are adamant not to call off the protests until the three laws are repealed.


(PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three new farm laws until further orders, saying it will "assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers" and make them confident enough to scythe their way to the negotiating table in good faith. The court also constituted a four-member committee to resolve the stalemate between the Centre and farmers.

The laws are - The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act.

The court observed that the setting up of a committee if experts in the field of agriculture to negotiate between the farmers and the Centre may help improve the trust and confidence of farmers.

"These are matters of life and death. We are concerned about the validity of laws and also about protecting life and property of citizens affected by the protests. We are trying to solve the problem in accordance with the powers we have. One of the powers we have is to suspend the legislation and make a committee," CJI SA Bobde said.

The farmer unions, however, are adamant not to call off the protests until the three laws are repealed.

The committee members are Pramod Kumar Joshi of International Food Policy Research Institute, agriculture economist Ashok Gulati, Bhupinder Singh Mann of Bhartiya Kisan Union and Anil Ghanwat of Shetkeri Sangthana.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Haryana and Punjab, have been protesting at Delhi borders since November 28, 2020, demanding repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.

First Published:Jan. 12, 2021, 10:44 p.m.

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