The Supreme Court on Tuesday put on hold the three contentious farm laws, which have triggered protests near Delhi, and said a committee would be formed to take over negotiations to end the crisis. “We will stay implementation of the three farm laws,” the bench headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, said.
It also said that the committee to be formed will have HS Mann of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Pramod Kumar Joshi, Ashok Gulati and Anil Dhanwat of Shetkari Sangathan.
The three-judge bench had earlier said that it is willing to suspend the laws but not indefinitely without any activity going on both sides.
The top court had said on Monday it is “extremely disappointed” with the way negotiations between the Centre and the farmers’ representative were going while hearing a bunch of petitions on the farm laws.
It also indicated that the three contentious laws will have to be put on hold for creating an atmosphere conducive for talks.
The bench had also asked the Centre if it was willing to pause the implementation of the laws, saying it will do it otherwise. Attorney General KK Venugopal was asked to come back with a response.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the farmers’ unions, was also asked to consult the farmers and inform the court if they were willing to join the deliberations before a committee, which the court proposed to constitute for resolving the issues.
However, late on Monday evening, the unions issued a statement that they would not want to go before the proposed committee. According to the unions, it would not make any sense to go before the committee after the government’s affidavit which maintained that laws will not be repealed.
Eight rounds of talks have been held between the Centre and the farmer unions but have failed to end the deadlock as the government ruled out repealing the contentious laws while the farmer leaders said their ‘ghar wapsi will happen only after law wapsi’.
The top court had earlier sought the Centre’s response on a batch of pleas against the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
Thousands of agitating farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping on Delhi’s borders since November 26.