Supreme Court panel on farmers’ agitation in limbo

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 15

The Supreme Court’s four-member committee on farmers’ agitation seems to be in limbo after the lone farmers’ consultant and Bharatiya Kisan Union National President Bhupinder Singh Mann recused himself in view of criticism from his personal union which sacked him from its main membership.

Legal consultants advised The Tribune that the panel can’t begin its work till it’s reconstituted and the emptiness is stuffed with a farmers’ consultant in place of Mann.

“The Supreme Court will have to nominate some other person in the committee. Since setting up of the committee is a unilateral action on the part of the court, only the court can find a replacement for Mann,” senior counsel Vikas Singh, who’s showing a PIL petitioner looking for tips on agitations, mentioned.

Advocate Virag Gupta mentioned, “the Supreme Court may modify its previous order and allow the committee to continue with only three members or name Mann’s replacement. Since Kishan Unions have expressed their willingness to continue talks with the government it may keep its order on hold or even refer it to a Constitution Bench.”

While staying the implementation of the three farm legal guidelines being opposed by farmers who’ve blocked key entry factors to Delhi since November 26, 2020, a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had on January 12 arrange a four-member committee to listen to the varied stakeholders’ views.

Beside Mann, the opposite three members of the committee have been Pramod Kumar Joshi (Director, South Asia worldwide Food Policy), Agricultural Economist Ashok Gulati and Shetkari Sanghatana chief Anil Ghanwat.

They have been mandated to speak to the agitating farmers on the Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance & Farm Services Act 2020, Farmers Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act & Amendment to Essential Commodities Act and file a report earlier than the court docket in two months.

Advocate AP Singh, who’s representing some farmers’ our bodies in the case, mentioned, “it was bound to happen as most of the members were pro-farm laws and their views were already known. Mr Mann is being guided by his conscience.” Asked about the way forward for the committee, he mentioned, “We are planning something…You will come to know about it soon.”

While forming the four-member panel, the highest court docket had expressed the hope that it “may create a congenial atmosphere and improve the trust and confidence of the farmers.”

It had mentioned that “a stay of implementation of all the three farm laws for the present, may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith.”

The high court docket had mentioned that “this extraordinary order of stay of implementation of the farm laws will be perceived as an achievement of the purpose of such protest at least for the present and will encourage the farmers bodies to convince their members to get back to their livelihood, both in order to protect their own lives and health and in order to protect the lives and properties of others.”

However, opposite to the court docket’s expectations, the farmer unions refused to budge from their place and continued to demand full repeal of the three farm legal guidelines, resulting in failure of the ninth spherical of talks with the federal government on Friday.


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