New Delhi, January 12

A day after pulling up the Centre for its poor handling of farmers’ agitation, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three farm laws being opposed by farmers who have blocked key entry points to Delhi since November 2020.

While staying the implementation of the Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance & Farm Services Act 2020, Farmers Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act & Amendment to Essential Commodities Act, a Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde set up a four-member committee to hear the stakeholders and report back to it.

Those named as members of the committee are — National president of Bharatiya Kisan Union Bhupinder Singh Mann, Pramod Kumar Joshi (Director, South Asia international Food Policy), Agricultural Economist Ashok Gulati and Shetkari Sanghatana leader Anil Ghanwat.

A detailed order will be released later on the court’s website.

“We believe in the committee and we are going to constitute it. This committee will be the part of judicial proceedings,” it said, adding it did not want to hear that farmers were unwilling to go to the committee.

The Bench said it shall protect farmers’ land, but the farmers should agree to participate in the proceedings before the committee.

“We are concerned only about the validity of the laws and also about protecting the life and property of citizens affected by protests. We are trying to solve the problem in accordance with the powers we have,” it said.

The Bench turned down farmers’ demand that the prime minister himself should approach them to hold negotiations.

Pulling up the government for poor handling of farmers’ agitation against farm laws, the Supreme Court had on Monday had made it clear that it intended to stay the implementation of the contentious laws and set up a committee to find an amicable solution to the problem.

“We are extremely disappointed with the way the government is handling the issue. Last four times you said negotiations are on. What negotiations are you talking about? If you have some sense of responsibility, and if you say you will withhold the implementation of laws, we will form a committee to decide,” a three-judge Bench headed CJI Bobde had told Attorney General KK Venugopal.

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