Supreme Court to hear pleas on farmers’ protest on 11th January

Anushka Mansharamani

The Apex Court stated that it would hear pleas challenging the new farm laws on 11th January.

The Supreme Court would also hear pleas regarding the ongoing farmers’ protest at Delhi borders on the same date.

The Centre told the bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde that healthy discussions are taking place between the farmers and the government on the issues, however, the bench observed that there was no improvement on ground relating to the farmers’ protests.

Attorney General K K Venugopal stated that there might be a good chance that the government and the farmers reach a conclusion in the future.

He further added that filing of a response on the plea by the Centre relating to the farm laws may foreclose the negotiations between the parties.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta advised the bench to not list the matter for hearing on 8th January due to the healthy atmosphere between the farmers and the government.

The bench finally stated that, “We understand the situation and encourage the consultation. We can adjourn the matters on Monday (January 11) if you submit the same due to the ongoing consultation process.”

The Apex Court was hearing a plea challenging the farm laws filed by Advocate M L Sharma where in the bench issued a notification to the Centre seeking a response on the plea filed as the plea submitted alleged that the Central government has no locus under the Constitution to frame these laws.

The bench asked Tushar Mehta to find out the current status of all other matters to which Tushar Mehta stated that there was no specific date given for the hearing on these pleas.

Therefore, the Court decided to hear the pleas relating to the farmers’ protests and farm laws on 11th January on the recommendation made by Tushar Mehta.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had also sought Centre’s response on various pleas against the three farm laws but while hearing a plea on 17th December regarding the same the Apex Court stated that the agitation should be allowed to continue “without impediment” and this court will not “interfere” with it as the right to protest is a fundamental right.

The Apex Court further was of the opinion that the right to protest should not violate the fundamental rights of others to move freely and that the court will not interfere as long as there is no damage to the life and property of citizens.

In the order passed on 17th December, the bench clearly stated,

“We clarify that this court will not interfere with the protest in question. Indeed the right to protest is part of a fundamental right and can as a matter of fact, be exercised subject to public order.”