“You decide what needs to be done,” CJI told the government.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde told the government on Wednesday that it was both “inappropriate and improper” for the Supreme Court to ban all gatherings of farmers protesting on Republic Day.
“It is irregular and inappropriate for this court to deactivate a rally. It’s up to the police to decide. We will allow you to opt out. You are the executive of the country. You decide, ”said Chief Justice Bobde, at the head of a bench of three judges, Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who were appearing for the government.
The CJI’s remarks were in response to a proposal by Mr. Mehta to adjourn the hearing on a government plea to ban farmers from organizing rallies to “disrupt” the Republic Day celebration.
Mr. Mehta submitted, “Consider hearing it on January 25 … Let’s see how the situation unfolds.”
But the CJI has called on the government to withdraw its plea and decide for itself. “You [government] decide what needs to be done, ”he said.
However, the court said farmers should ensure that the citizens of Delhi are assured of “complete peace” on January 26.
‘Embrace the peace’
CJI called on attorney Prashant Bhushan to advise his clients, several farmers’ unions who have decided not to appear before the expert committee, to embrace peace.
“We want a resolution of the dispute,” he told Bhushan.
Mr. Bhushan replied, “Everyone wants it. But they are convinced that these laws must be repealed. The laws were passed without notice or consultation. They have not been submitted to any parliamentary committee for review. There was not even a vote in Rajya Sabha on them ”.
Chief Justice Bobde told Mr Bhushan: “In a democracy, other than repeal, one way to get a law down is to go through the court. The court is now seized of the matter ”.
Mr Bhushan replied, “The protest is a way to put pressure on the government. If he stops, the pressure decreases … Suppose My Lords come to the conclusion that the laws are constitutional … ”
There had been a call for peace among the farmers’ unions protesting on Republic Day, he said.
Mr. Venugopal replied: “But 5,000 tractors are coming into the city, how can they say there won’t be any disturbances?”