Highlights:

  • The Union govt decided to repeal the three farm laws could impact several proceedings in SC
  • ln September 2020, farmers organisations commenced consulting lawyers, in an attempt to find ways to challenge the farm laws
  • On January 12, the Supreme Court reserved the implementation of the laws

The Union government decided to repeal the three farm laws could impact several proceedings in the Supreme Court, concerned not just with the constitutional validity of the laws, but on petitions lodged by citizens urging the rights of way, and one by a farm union seeking permission to conduct a peaceful protest in the national capital.

According to reports, there is one set of cases pending before the apex court where the three farm laws are under challenge. While another set of petitions supports the three farm laws. Moreover, in another several individuals have moved to the top court asking to resolve traffic hassles and over citizen’s right to a movement that has been affected owing to the farmer’s protest.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave who appeared for the farm unions in the apex court voiced, “Once the farm laws are repealed, the Supreme Court will pass orders declaring the petitions to be infructuous.” He added that it is because the farmer stood so strongly against the laws, the government was forced to bend backwards. The determination shown by farmers will strengthen our democracy.

Meanwhile, the decision to repeal the farm laws has not been perceived well among certain sections of the farming community. Anil Ghanwat, president of Shetkari Sanghatana and a member of an SC appointed committee reviewing the farm laws, titled the move “unfortunate”. He added that the government’s withdrawal of farm laws was “political” and was targeted at winning state elections in the upcoming months.

After the Parliament passed the three-farm law in September 2020, farmers organisations commenced consulting lawyers, in an attempt to find ways to challenge the three farm laws. Chhattisgarh Kisan Congress Vice President Rakesh Vaishnav and five other farm leaders were the first to move to the Supreme Court to inquire into the agricultural laws.

Political parties also came in support of the farmers as Manoj Jha from Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress MP TN Prathapan and DMK MP Tiruchi Siva lodged separate petitions against the laws. Following, multiple farm unions namely Bharatiya Kisan Party, Madhya Pradesh farmer leader DP Dhakad, National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturist Sangam state president P Ayyakannu and lawyer ML Sharma also joined in.

Marking a significant turn in the proceedings on January 12, the Supreme Court reserved the implementation of the laws and established a committee of experts to consider the grievances of the protesting farmers and recommend amendments to the laws. According to reports, the Supreme Court is yet to consider the report as the matter didn’t come up for hearing.

On the other hand, in March 2021, a Noida based resident moved to the Supreme Court stating that the farmer protest made travelling between New Delhi and NCR a nightmare. The top court took recognition of the matter with the Centre and the government of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to formulate plans to solve the issue. The court ruled that farmers have the right to protest but cannot block roads.

“The Prime Minister’s announcement to repeal the three farm laws is a tribute to the resolute determination and struggle of our farmers who sat on the borders of Delhi for one year suffering enormous hardship. The government caved in only after realising its electoral impact”, tweeted Advocate Prashant Bhusan who appeared for the farmer Union in proceedings at the apex Court.

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