The Supreme Court on Monday said that the Delhi Police should decide on the entry of protesting farmers on Republic Day as it is a matter of ‘law and order’ as it heard a plea by the centre that sought an order against the proposed tractor rally by farmers on Republic day.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, also comprising of Justices LN Rao and Vineet Saran, said that the Delhi Police has all the authority to deal in this matter.
The bench said, “Does the Supreme Court say as to what are the powers of police and how they will exercise them? We are not going to tell you what to do.”
The apex court told Attorney General KK Venugopal that it will take up the matter and set the next hearing on January 20.
The top court’s observation came during the hearing on a plea by the central government filed through Delhi Police. The government had told the court that any rally or protest which seeks to disrupt the celebration of January 26 (Republic Day) celebration will cause ‘an embarrassment to the nation.’
The centre told the top court that the right to protest can never include ‘maligning the nation globally’. It urged the SC to restrain anyone from holding any protest march in any form, either tractor march, trolley march, vehicle march or any other mode from entering into the national capital.
The protesting farmers are firm on their decision to hold the tractor rally in which 1,000 tractors will participate. The farmers said that the march will be peaceful and it will not interrupt the Republic Day parade at Rajpath.
The farmers clarified that there will be no occupation or attack on any government building or area during the rally.
Thousands of farmers are camping near Delhi borders for over 50 days against the farm laws enacted by the government which they fear will shrink their income and leave them vulnerable in the hands of big corporate houses.
The protesting farmers want the government to repeal the three farm laws which the government has refused. So far, the government has held nine rounds of talks with 40 farmer unions have but have failed to end the deadlock.
The Supreme Court last week had stayed the implementation of the three farm laws ‘till further order’ and had constituted a panel to resolve the impasse.