SC supports right of farmers to non-violent protests but against blockade of roads: 10 key developments

SC supports right of farmers to non-violent protests but against blockade of roads: 10 key developments

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday suggested to the Centre for putting on hold the contentious farm laws to help talks with the protesting farmers. It also upheld the right of the farmers to protest in a non-violent manner but without blocking the roads.
Here are the 10 key developments of the day:
1. The Supreme Court made it clear that the issue of farmers’ protest and the right of the others to move freely would be dealt on priority and not the validity of laws at the moment. It also said it was thinking of setting up an “impartial and independent” panel of agriculture experts and farmer unions to resolve the impasse. The apex court said it was of the view that the farmers’ right to protest should not infringe the fundamental rights of others to move freely and in getting essential food and other supplies as right to protest cannot mean blockade of the entire city. The top court also said farmers cannot keep on protesting without talking to the government.
2. The Supreme Court’s suggestion of putting on hold the contentious farm laws was opposed by the Centre. Attorney General KK Venugopal opposed the suggestion and said if the implementation of the farm laws are put on hold then farmers would not come forward for negotiations. The top court said it was not asking the Centre to stay the farm laws but only suggesting that its implementation be put on hold for the time being to enable the farmers to talk with the government.
3. The Delhi assembly passed a resolution against the agriculture laws with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tearing up their copies, saying he cannot betray the farmers of the country. Addressing the assembly, the chief minister also alleged the laws have been made for “electoral funding of the BJP and not the farmers”. “I am pained that I have to do this. I did not intend to, but I cannot betray the farmers of my country who have been sleeping on the streets in the cold when the temperature is just 2 degrees Celsius,” Kejriwal said, while tearing up the copies of the three laws.
4. Former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal accused Kejriwal of indulging in “cheap theatrics” by tearing copies of the farm laws. She said his government in Delhi was among the first to notify one of the central laws related to agriculture. In a statement, Badal said the Delhi CM was known as a “dramebaaz” but this time he indulged in “cheap theatrics” and “unparalleled hypocrisy” by tearing the same laws in the Vidhan Sabha, one of which he had notified on November 23.
5. The government issued an e-booklet highlighting the success stories of farmers who have benefited from contract farming after enactment of these legislations. In the 100-page e-booklet ‘Putting Farmers First’, the government said it has made clear the “truth” about the farm reforms and has mentioned “what will happen” and “what will not happen” for farmers. It also asserted that reforms in the farm sector were undertaken step by step in the last six years keeping in mind the needs of farmers. The government asserted that the three farm laws were enacted in September after “two decades of consultations.”
6. Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel claimed that very few farmers are backing the protests at Delhi borders against the new farm laws, and “anti-nationals” have infiltrated the agitation. The agitation was a conspiracy to malign Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image, he alleged. “Except in Delhi, there are no protests anywhere in the country. No one is agitating in Gujarat. Some 50,000 persons from a population of 130 crore want the government to scrap the laws which are passed by Parliament… What is the meaning of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha if we have to follow orders of 50,000 persons,” Patel said.
7. The Delhi High Court declined to entertain a plea seeking aid, security and treatment of the farmers protesting on the borders of the national capital, saying a similar issue was before the Supreme Court. A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan also said that the high court’s jurisdiction does not extend to areas outside the national capital territory and added that the same plea could have been filed in any of the high courts of Rajasthan, Punjab or Uttar Pradesh. The bench also observed that the plea was filed without doing any research or preparation and dismissed it.
8. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath alleged that the opposition parties are “misleading” the farmers on the centre’s agriculture laws and said the government will ensure that they get remunerative price for their produce. The chief minister alleged that the “demoralised” opposition is misleading farmers by telling lies and “conspiring” against farmers’ interests. “They are creating confusion among farmers. The ‘mandis’ (markets) will not be shut. No one will be allowed to grab land of farmers,” the CM said addressing a ‘Kisan Sammelan’ in Bareilly.
9. Home minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Narendra Singh Tomar amid the ongoing farmers’ agitation. The meeting took place at the BJP head office in the national capital. It was also attended by the party’s general secretaries CT Ravi, Dushyant Gautam and Arun Singh among others. The meeting was being held on the day the Supreme Court heard a plea related to the farmer’s protests against the centre’s three new agriculture-related laws.
10. There was disruption of traffic movement on key routes in the national capital, the 22nd day of the farmers’ protest. Farmers camping at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points have led to closure of several routes in Delhi. According to the city police, Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Sabholi and Mangesh borders are closed. Commuters have been advised to take alternate routes via Lampur, Safiabad and Singhu school toll tax borders, while traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK road, they said. The Outer Ring Road, GTK road and NH-44 should be avoided, the police added.

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