The Supreme Court Monday pulled up the Centre for its handling of the farmers protest against the new farm laws saying it is ?extremely disappointed? with the way negotiations between them were going and it will constitute a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India to resolve the impasse
Indicating amply that it may go to the extent of staying the implementation of the contentious farm laws, the apex court refused to grant extra time to the Centre to explore the possibility of amicable solution saying it has already granted the government a ?long rope?
?We have given you long rope, Mr Attorney General, please don’t lecture us on patience,? a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, that the top court has made ?harsh observations? regarding handling of the situation by the government.
?That was the most innocuous factual thing for us to say,? the bench said
The apex court, which said it will pass orders on the issue concerning farm laws and farmers’ protest in part in the matter, asked the parties to suggest two-three names of former CJIs including former CJI R M Lodha who can head the apex court-appointed panel
At the outset, the bench said, “What is going on? States are rebelling against your laws”
?We are extremely disappointed with the negotiation process,? it said, adding, ?We don’t want to make any stray observations on your negotiations but we are extremely disappointed with the process.?
The apex court, which was hearing a clutch of pleas challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders, said it is not talking about the repeal of these farm laws at the moment
?This is a very delicate situation,? the bench said, adding, ?There is not a single petition before us which says that these farm laws are beneficial?.
?We are not experts on economy; you tell us whether government is going to put on hold farm laws or we will do this,? the bench said. ?We are sorry to say that Centre has not been able to solve the problem and the farmers agitation.?
Attorney General K K Venugopal argued that a law cannot be stayed unless the court finds it violates fundamental rights or constitutional schemes
?Our intention is to see whether we can find an amicable solution to all this. That is why we had asked you (Centre) whether you are willing to keep these laws on hold for sometime. But you wanted to buy time,? the bench observed, adding, ?We don’t know whether you are part of the solution or part of the problem?.
The apex court, which said the matter is getting worse and people are committing suicides, reiterated the need for having a committee comprising representatives from the government and farmer organisations from over the country and said it will stop the implementation of these laws if the panel advises to do so.
It said farmers are protesting against these laws and they can tell their objections to the committee
The bench warned that it may stay the law if the government does not do it on its own.
“Whether you have faith or not, we are the Supreme Court of India, we will do our job,” the bench told the farmer unions which are protesting against these farm laws