The current farmers’ protest puts the Supreme Court in a dilemma. The issue before him is a series of petitions aimed at defending the right of people to move freely, which was deliberately denied for more than 40 days by farmers protesting on Delhi’s highways. But the solution is heavy. The court cannot simply order the squatters at the Singhu border and other entry points to the capital to move the protest to a designated area and thus risk either defying or provoking a confrontation with the authorities. maintenance of order.
The problem is that the court cannot suspend the application of agricultural reform laws without there being a solid legal basis. After all, these laws were passed by an overwhelming majority in both Houses of Parliament. In addition, the Supreme Court that would nullify laws in the face of concerted street protests by farmers would open a veritable box of worms, encouraging others who feel wronged by state or central law to try to disrupt normal life, and then to wait for the courts to overrule the will of the people.
In short, the Supreme Court is forced to walk a tightrope against its will, since the issue of the farmers’ protest has been referred to it. The difficulty in getting out of the dilemma was evident during the hearing of the case on Monday. Chief Justice SA Bobde reflected the sensitivities of the Court in pointed questions he posed to the Center. Questioning aloud if government was part of the problem or part of the solution, CJI asked if the Center was ready to suspend the laws.
Recognizing that the bench did not claim expertise in economics or agriculture, the court nevertheless did not want to risk a violent eruption if the situation went unanswered for a long time. “We don’t see that you are dealing effectively with the issue … we don’t know what consultation process you went through before the laws … if the vast majority say the laws are good, let them tell a committee.” … our attention is to find an amicable solution, ”said CJI Bobde.
The court was also concerned about the extreme weather conditions in which the protesters pursued the siege of Delhi. He called on children, women and the elderly to return home, hoping that the free movement of ordinary citizens would no longer be blocked by the protest. It was also reported that the tribunal could form a panel led by a retired trial judge with representatives from various stakeholders to review the contested reforms. Whether farmers would lift the siege with the formation of such an independent group is uncertain.
Because, the federation of farmers representing all 40 unions and more had questioned the locus of the courts to intervene in the matter. He made it clear that the Supreme Court “does not and cannot play any role in resolving a political stalemate over anti-farm laws”. In other words, the farmers died the most in their “mine or on the highway” position. This is the most disturbing aspect of the commotion. At the instigation of outside elements desperately seeking political relevance, the protesting farmers have been misled into believing that the government would only give in if it insisted on a maximalist approach.
As the government reiterated its determination not to repeal the laws, but, failing that, offered to make appropriate changes to allay their grievances and fears, the unreasonableness of the farmers can be directly attributed to the wheel dealers. independent politicians who usurped control of the demonstration behind the scenes. The proposal to hold a tractor parade in Rajpath on Republic Day, for example, is intended to provoke provocation and challenge law enforcement authorities.
Unfortunately, even the eminently sensible proposal to break the Centre’s deadlock by agreeing not to implement the reforms for a year before they were again discussed with states and farmers’ representatives was rejected by the protesters. Such an impasse risks a violent eruption, especially as farmers are now being misled by outside elements. It is a frustrating situation for the country when its farmers refuse to heed the country’s highest court or the parliament elected by the people.