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[BREAKING] "Farmers protests could soon become a national issue:" Supreme Court mooting committee to resolve the issue
We will ask farmer organizations to be also a part of the committee, as it will soon become a national issue, CJI Bobde said.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the farmers protests in and around Delhi could soon snowball into a national issue and the top court is, therefore, mooting formation of a committee to hold talks and settle the matter amicably.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian also observed that the talks between Central government and farmers representatives was not yielding the desired results.
The Court was hearing two petitions seeking removal of farmers protesting at the Delhi -NCR borders against the recently passed Farm Acts.
During the hearing today, the Central government told the top court that the talks with the protesting farmers have not bore fruition because the approach of the protesters is "repeal or don't repeal."
"Their approach is either repeal the Farm Acts or don't repeal. Its either yes or no. Minister of agriculture, Minster of Home has discussed with them and they have turned their backs on us," he said.
Mehta was responding to a query by the Court about who were the leaders of the agitation.
Mehta underscored that the Centre will not do anything which adversely affects the farmers.
"What's the point of saying so when it is adversely affecting them," the CJI asked.
"It only a yes or no for them," Mehta replied.
"Your negotiation will again fail as they won't agree. Give us names of organizations who can be before us," CJI Bobde said.
The Bench remarked that the petitions though ill-conceived raise the issue of freedom of movement and pointing out that it the Central government which has blocked the roads to prevent farmers from entering the city.
The top court then proceeded to issue notice to Central, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Punjab governments in the petition and also gave liberty to the petitioners to implead the orgnaisations and unions representing the protesting farmers.
The case will be heard again tomorrow.
[BREAKING] PIL in Supreme Court seeks removal of protesting farmers from Delhi borders citing risk of spread of COVID-19
One of the petitions filed by law student Rishabh Sharma stated that it is necessary to remove the gathering as it is blocking roads and disrupting emergency/medical services in Delhi where Covid-19 cases are increasing rapidly.
Besides, several patients frequently travel to Delhi from different States for treatment in government hospitals, it was pointed out.
The plea further said that life of lakh of people protesting at Delhi borders is at immediate threat "since Coronavirus is very contagious and if by chance this coronavirus disease takes the shape of community spread, it will cause a havoc in the country."
Farmers facing all kinds of problems, system not showing sensitivity towards them: Bombay High Court [Read Order]
The plea demanded that protesters be shifted to some other place and the Delhi borders, which have been blocked due to the protests, be reopened. It further stated that social distancing and mask wearing protocol must be implemented among the protest groups.
"Though the Police has allotted a dedicated place for the protestors to protest peacefully, but the protestors are not shifting/moving to the allotted place and in order to create trouble for the commuters they have blocked the borders. Furthermore, owing to their large number of protestors, the police is not able to control such a large gathering," the petition said.
The petitions also relied upon provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act wherein it provides for punishment up to six months to person whose act/acts pose a threat of infection/ spread of such life-threatening disease to people/ communicating at large.
Apart from Sharma, the other two petitions have been filed by advocates GS Mani and Reepak Kansal.
Senior Counsel Harish Salve is also expected to appear tomorrow to "raise a legal issue".