National Affairs

“No Improvement In Situation At All”: Top Court On Farmer-Centre Deadlock, On Wednesday

Farmers’ protests near Delhi borders set to intensify as the deadlock over new agricultural laws continues, the Supreme Court today expressed disappointment, saying “there’s no improvement in situation at all.” Chief Justice SA Bobde, while hearing a petition challenging the laws, said the top court’s “intention was to encourage talks” between the government and the protesting farmers. “There’s no improvement in (the) situation at all. We understand the situation and we encourage talks,” the Chief Justice said. Two days after the seventh round of talks failed between the farmers’ representatives and the centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court: “We are discussing with farmers. There are chances of some sort of understanding between the parties.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta further said: “A healthy discussion is going on now.” Last month, the supreme court had said the protests can continue while it stressed on the need of talks between both the sides. The court said it would refer the matter to a vacation bench and suggested that the government not take any action to implement the law till the court takes a final decision on the issue. “We make it clear that we recognise the fundamental right to protest against a law. There is no question of balancing or curtailing it. But it should not damage anyone’s life or property,” Chief Justice SA Bobde had said at the time. The court also told the protesting farmers: “We are saying it to you. You have a right to protest. We are not going to interfere. You carry on protests. Your protest has a purpose, and that must be fulfilled by talking to someone. You simply cannot sit on protest for years.”

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