Expressing concern over the ongoing farmers’ protest at various Delhi borders over the recently enacted three farm laws, the Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed its displeasure.
The three-member Chief Justice SA Bobde headed bench, comprising of Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian told Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta and Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal, representing the Centre, “There is absolutely no improvement in the situation.”
Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta submitted that the Centre is in discussion with the farmers to resolve their issues and that since “healthy talks” are going on between the farmers and Centre, it would not be advisable to take up the matters immediately.
Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal said that filing of response by the Centre may close avenues of negotiations underway between the farmers and Centre.
Venugopal added that there is a possibility that parties involved in the discussion may come to a conclusion in the near future.
The bench agreed with the submissions of both the AG and SG and said if it is told on Monday (January 11) that discussions are still underway then it would adjourn the hearing.
“We understand the situation. We want to encourage the talks. We will keep matter on Monday and will adjourn if you say so,” said the Chief Justice.
The observations from the SC came during the hearing on a petition filed by advocate ML Sharma who challenged a 1954 amendment to the Constitution for putting agriculture in the concurrent list, which permitted the Centre to enact the farm laws. The top court issued the notice on Sharma’s plea.
The farmers’ protest against the three farm laws has been going on for more than 40 days.
The seventh round of talks between the Centre and the protesting farmers held on January 4 concluded without any solution or headway as the government has categorically said that the contentious farm laws would not be repealed, which is the main demand of the farmers.
The eighth round of meeting between the two sides is scheduled for January 8, Friday.
Farmers’ representatives have refused to accept the option of the amendment offered by the government, insisting that the laws be repealed.
Last month, the Supreme Court had ordered that a special committee be formed, insisting that the Centre’s negotiations have failed. “Your negotiation will again fail as they (the farmers) won’t agree,” the bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had observed.
(With IANS inputs)