'How Can Highways Be Blocked Perpetually?': SC on Farmers' Protest
The matter has been listed for hearing on 4 October.
Amid the ongoing farmers' protest on the borders of the national capital, the Supreme Court on Thursday, 30 September, called for a redressal of problems through judicial forum, agitation or through parliamentary debates while referencing the nearly year-long blockade of highways due to the agitation, news agency PTI reported.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh asked, "The redressal of problems can be through judicial forum, agitation or through Parliamentary debates. But how can the highways be blocked and this is happening perpetually. Where does this end?"
The observation came while hearing a plea of a Noida resident, Monicca Agrawaal, who submitted that people in the area are facing difficulties due to protests at the Uttar Pradesh Gate on Delhi border, PTI reported.
Further, the apex court pulled up the government and asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) KM Nataraj what the administration had done in the matter.
"We may lay down a law but how to implement the law is your business. The court cannot implement it. It is the executive who has to implement it," the bench noted, and allowed the Union government to file a formal application seeking farmer unions' participation in the matter.
To this, Nataraj submitted that details of a meeting with protesting farmer unions were mentioned in the affidavit.
The bench noted, "This has ramifications but there are also grievances which need to be addressed. This cannot be a perpetual problem," PTI reported.
Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apprised the court that a top-level three-member committee was established for the purpose of grievance redressal, however, farmers' representatives turned down the invitation to the discussions.
The matter was listed for hearing on 4 October.
The matter had come for hearing previously on 23 August, with the apex court urging the government to resolve the prolonged blocking of roads amid the protests.
The order had noted, "Solution lies in the hands of the Union of India and the concerned state governments. They have to coordinate to find a solution that when a protest takes place, roads are not blocked and traffic is not disrupted to cause inconvenience to the common people," PTI quoted.
The bench had also referenced disruption in toll collection in the matter.
Earlier in March, the top court had issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in the matter.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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