The Supreme Court on Thursday, 17 December, said it will not interfere with farmers' protests against the three contentious laws, noting that the "right to protest is part of a fundamental right and can, as a matter of fact, be exercised subject to public order."
In its written order in connection with the case, the apex court said, "We're of the view at this stage that the farmers’ protest should be allowed to continue without impediment and without any breach of peace either by the protesters or police."
“There can certainly be no impediment in the exercise of such rights as long as it is non-violent and does not result in damage to the life and properties of other citizens and is in accordance with (the) law.”SC order, as quoted by LiveLaw
The court also reiterated its suggestion to constitute a committee having "independent and impartial" members, including agriculture experts, to resolve the deadlock between the protesting farmers and the government.
It further said that writ petitions challenging the contentious laws, filed before the court, will be decided in due course.
The court has listed the case after the winter vacation with "liberty to move the vacation bench if necessary".
‘Farmers Have Right to Protest If It Doesn’t Endanger Life’
During the hearing earlier on Thursday, SC stated that it is the fundamental right of the farmers to protest, as long as the protest is constitutional and does not destroy property or endanger life, while hearing a batch of petitions against the farmers’ protest.
An SC bench led by CJI Bobde was hearing the petitions seeking removal of farmers protesting at Delhi borders against the Centre’s farm laws.
What Happened on Wednesday?
The Supreme Court on Wednesday had issued a notice to the Centre over a bunch of petitions seeking the removal of protesting farmers from the Delhi border, and told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that it intended to set up a committee comprising representatives of farmer unions across India, the government and other stakeholders to resolve this issue.
Can Centre Commit to Not Implement Farm Laws? Asks CJI
On Thursday, while speaking on the three farm laws, the apex court asked the Attorney General of India, KK Venugopal, if the central government can commit to not implement the farm laws while the court hears the petition seeking the removal of the farmers.
“Can the Union say no executive action will be taken under the laws in order to facilitate the negotiations,” LiveLaw quoted CJI Bobde as asking.
The AG replied that he will get back after taking instructions from the central government, LiveLaw reported.
We Are Familiar With Farmers’ Plight: CJI
Stating that the farmers have the right to protest, the CJI said that the court will not interfere with it. “You carry on the protest. The purpose of protest must be served to talking to someone. You cannot sit in protest for years,” CJI Bobde added.
(With inputs from LiveLaw)