Farmers Won’t Appear in the Committee Formed by SC, Say Unions

The Centre had made it clear that it won’t agree to any discussion for repealing the farm laws before the committee.

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Farmers stage a protest at the Singhu border during their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march against the Centre’s new farm laws, in New Delhi, on Tuesday, 1 December 2020. Image used for representational purposes. 

After a Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice SA Bobde said on Monday, 11 January, that the court has made up its mind to stay the implementation of the three farm laws, the united farmers' union has hardened its stand, stating that all the farmers' organisations, which are spearheading the fight against the farm laws, are unanimous in their decision that the laws must be repealed forthwith and have decided not to attend the committee if formed by the apex court.

While "all organisations express great respect for the Hon'ble Supreme Court for it's understanding of the problem and comforting words expressed during the hearing today," they are collectively and individually not willing to participate in any proceeding before a committee that may be appointed by the apex court, said the statement issued by the unions.

However, the Centre had made it clear before the court that it will not agree to any discussion for repealing the farm laws before the committee.

"We met our lawyers this evening and after deliberation on the pros and cons of the suggestions to the committee, we informed them that we are unanimously not agreeable to go before any committee that may be appointed by the Supreme Court due to the stubborn attitude of the government," the unions’ statement added.

It further said, "The Supreme Court was requested by our lawyers as also by other lawyers, including Harish Salve, to fix the hearing again tomorrow to enable them to consult the organisations and seek their consent to the suggestion of the court.[sic.]"

"We have been told that no such hearing has been fixed for tomorrow as per the cause list already published for tomorrow till 9 pm and that only the matters are listed for pronouncements for order by the court. These events have deeply disappointed us, our lawyers and also the farmers at large. Therefore, it has been decided to release this press statement to let the world know our stand in the matter," it said.

"As the representatives of the farmers, we once again express our gratitude to the Supreme Court but regret our inability to accede to their suggestions. While the government falsely propagates that the agitation is confined only to farmers of Punjab, thousands of farmers from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and some other states have assembled on the borders of Delhi, while thousands more are protesting at various places of different states at this very moment," the statement said.

(This story has been published in an arrangement with IANS)

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