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The Supreme Court today issued notice in a batch of petitions challenging the three Farmers Acts that were recently passed by Parliament.
The batch of petitions challenging the Acts was taken up by the Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian today.
When Advocate ML Sharma appeared before it, the Court sought to know the cause of action in the petition. While dealing specifically with Sharma's petition, the Court said that the mere passage of legislation cannot be a valid cause of action.
While the Court refused to entertain Sharma's PIL, Advocate K Parameshwara, representing the Chhattisgarh Kisan Congress, told the Court that there are other petitions challenging the Acts.
The petition filed by Chhattisgarh Kisan Congress came to the Supreme Court after a plea assailing the Acts was rendered infructuous by the Chhattisgarh High Court.
The Court suggested that the petitioners approach the High Courts. However, it was told that the Farmers Acts will have an overriding effect on different State laws, resulting in multiplicity of litigation before various High Courts.
The Bench then observed that the legal questions raised in the rest of the petitions filed before the Court will have to be answered by the Centre at some forum or the other. It thus proceeded to issue notice in the batch of petitions.
Senior Advocate P Wilson appeared today for the DMK MP.
The petitions assail the validity of the following newly passed laws:
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and
The 2020 Amendment to the Essential Commodities Act.
The tabling of these Farmers Bills during the Monsoon Session of Parliament had led to a huge ruckus, with the opposition registering fierce resistance to their passage.
However, the Bills were passed through a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha and have now also received the President's assent amid nationwide agitation among the farmers' community.
The petitions before the Supreme Court allege that these laws could not have been passed by Parliament as it is expressly precluded from legislating on the subject matter of agriculture, which squarely falls within the ambit of the State List, on which only state assemblies are empowered to make laws.
Moreover, it is stated that the laws are severely detrimental to the interests of farmers, who would be all be at a loss considering that the laws lean towards "liberalising" the farm industry, which essentially means allowing big corporates to enter the arena.
These laws also do not provide for a judicial redressal mechanism for farmers' disputes, some of the pleas before the Apex Court have pointed out.