SC allows impleadment of 8 farmer unions in PILs seeking removal of protesters from Delhi borders

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the impleadment of eight farmer unions as respondents in the petitions seeking the removal of protestors from the borders in the national capital.

Eight farmers unions include Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU – Rakesh Tikait), Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU – Rakesh Tikait), BKU-Sidhupur (Jagjeet S. Dallewal), BKU-Rajewal (Balbeer Singh Rajewal), BKU-Lakhowal (Harinder Singh Lakhowal), Jamhoori Kisan Sabha (Kulwant Singh Sandhu), BKU-Dakaunda (Buta Singh Burjgill), BKU – Doaba (Manjit Singh Rai) and Kul Hind Kisan Federation (Prem Singh Bhangu).

Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court observed that that farmers’ issue will soon become a “national issue”, stating that it intends to set up a committee comprising representatives of farmers unions across India, government and other stakeholders to resolve the issues of protesting farmers.

A Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notice to Centre and State governments on a batch of pleas seeking a direction to authorities to immediately remove the farmers who are protesting at several border points of Delhi against three new farm laws.

The top court posted the matter for hearing tomorrow.

During the hearing, the Bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the government’s negotiation is not working and “it’s bound to fail again”. It asked Solicitor General to give names of some farmers’ organisation representatives to join them as parties in proceedings before it.

The court’s statement came after Solicitor General said the government is in talks with farmers. The BKU and some others are protesting at the site but some other elements have joined the protests, Mehta said without identifying them.

At the outset of the hearing advocate Omprakash Parihar, appearing for one of the petitioners Rishabh Sharma a law student, argued that his plea seeks direction to open borders in view of Shaheen Bagh judgement where the apex court had said that roads cannot be blocked.

He said during the protest in Shaheen Bagh there were 3-4 lakh protestors, the same situation is now in farmers protest.To this Chief Justice of India said, “there cannot be any precedent in law and order situation.”

The petition of Rishabh Sharma said that commuters are facing hardships due to the road blockades and the gatherings might lead to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

He also sought directions to authorities to open the roads at Delhi’s borders, shift the protesters to the allotted place and provide guidelines on social distancing and use of masks at the protest site in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The petition has claimed that the Delhi Police had, on November 27, allowed the protesters to hold a demonstration peacefully at the Nirankari ground in Burari here, but despite that, they have blocked the borders of the national capital.

The farmers are protesting against the recently enacted Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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