The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Center and two state governments over roads in the National Capital Region that are blocked by farmers’ groups opposing three agricultural laws, and said “you (the Center and the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana) have to find a solution” while also recognizing the right of farmers to protest.
“You have to find a solution… They (farmers) have a right to protest but the inflow and outflow cannot be obstructed. “The movement of people should not be obstructed,” a bench headed by Justice SK Kaul said.
“The solution lies in the hands of the central and state governments,” the court said.
The matter has been listed for hearing next month.
The court was responding to an affidavit by the Uttar Pradesh government that said efforts were on to “convince the farmers to the grossly illegal act of blocking roads”. The affidavit said it was difficult to dislodge the agitators as most of them are “old and old farmers”.
The UP government, in its affidavit complaining, said, “The (road) diversion has been made to allow smooth movement of traffic between Ghaziabad (and other places in the state) and Delhi via Maharajpur and Hindon roads, as NH 24 is still blocked.” That the highway was “repeatedly blocked by farmers’ protests in January, March and again in April”.
The affidavit was in response to a PIL by a Noida resident – Monika Agarwal who had demanded that the roads between Noida and Delhi be kept clean so that passenger traffic is not affected.
According to her PIL, Ms Agarwal is a single parent with medical issues.
She said traveling between Delhi and Noida has become a “nightmare” – the journey takes two hours instead of the usual 20 minutes. Ms Agarwal said she had to travel between the two as part of her job.
The Supreme Court had issued notices to the Haryana and UP governments on the basis of the petition.
It had also informed the Delhi government and the police.
In the past the Supreme Court had said: “The larger issue can be resolved judiciously, administratively and politically… but the common man should not be inconvenienced. We have been saying time and again that public roads should not be blocked.” should be done”
Thousands of farmers – from Punjab, Haryana and western UP – are camping in and around Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur and three places on the borders of the national capital as well as on the roads connecting Delhi to Noida.
Their protest made headlines when violent clashes with police broke out in Haryana and Delhi, triggering criticism of the Center over what had begun as a peaceful agitation.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting across the country since November last year, demanding repeal of laws that they fear will end the MSP (minimum support price) system and leave small and marginal producers at the mercy of large corporations. Will go
However, the government has insisted that the laws are beneficial and has refused to roll them back. However, it has offered to discuss them “point by point” and make some amendments.
Several rounds of talks have failed to break the deadlock between the two sides.