India

Petition against blockade: SC seeks response from 43 farmers’ bodies, leaders on Haryana government’s plea

By PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought response of 43 farmers’ bodies and their leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, Darshan Pal and Gurnam Singh, on a plea by the Haryana government, who are protesting at Delhi borders against agricultural laws, alleging that they are not participating. It is in talks with the committee to resolve the deadlock on the road jam here.

Haryana has applied in the PIL filed by Noida resident Monika Agarwal, who has sought lifting of the blockade, saying earlier it used to take 20 minutes to reach Delhi and now it is taking more than two hours and people of the area are facing difficulties. is facing. Protest at UP Gate on Delhi border.

Taking cognizance of the petition, a bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundaresh said, “Notice issued, also by hand (through Messenger).”

The bench said, “Shri Mehta (Solicitor General Tushar Mehta), you have made about 43 people as parties. How will you serve them.”

Mehta said that farmer leaders are necessary parties in this matter and he will ensure service of notice on them and sought hearing of the petition on Friday, i.e. October 8.

Mehta, representing the state, said Haryana has constituted a panel to hold talks with protesting farmer leaders, who have refused to participate in the talks intended to resolve the issue.

“Notice be issued so that they do not say that they had no reason to come,” he said.

The bench has now fixed the matter for further hearing on October 20.

Haryana, in its petition, said that a state-level panel was constituted on September 15, 2021 to hold discussions with farmers’ bodies, but they refused to come forward for talks on September 19.

“The dharna at Indus border and Tikri border is being organized by United Kisan Morcha which is a body of several farmer unions and in this the names of the parties mentioned above are office-bearers/workers of different farmers’ unions, so in order to resolve the issue necessary party”, the petition said.

Read also | Agricultural laws have been put on hold, what are you opposing: Supreme Court to farmers’ union

The bench, in an earlier hearing, had wondered how the highways could be blocked forever.

It had asked, “Problems can be resolved through judicial forum, agitation or parliamentary debate. But how can highways be blocked and it is always happening. Where does it end.”

It had also asked the Center what the government was doing in this matter.

The Center had said that it had called a meeting with the protesting farmers and the details have been mentioned in the affidavit.

Mehta said that the court should allow the petitioner to make the farmers’ union a party to the petition, so that later they do not say that they were not made a party in the matter.

The bench had told Mehta that as the petitioner, he would have to make an application to make the farmers a representative party, a private person may not know who their leader is.

The top court had on August 23 said that the Center and the neighboring states of Delhi should find a solution to the road blockade on the borders of the national capital due to farmers’ protests.

It had told the Center why the government is unable to find a solution to the problem as farmers have a right to protest but the inflow and outflow of traffic cannot be disrupted due to further protests at designated places.

The top court had said that this would also affect toll collection as vehicles would not be able to pass through due to the jam.

It then ordered, “The solution lies in the hands of the Union of India and the respective State Governments.

They have to coordinate to find a solution that when there is a protest, the roads are not blocked and the traffic is not obstructed to cause inconvenience to the common people.

The apex court had on March 26 issued notices to Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on the petition.

The Uttar Pradesh government, in its affidavit, has said that continuous efforts are being made to lift the blockade along the Delhi-UP border and at present around 141 tents and 31 langars have been erected around the area and the protesters have set up a stage. A media house has also been built under the flyover from which the leaders give speeches.

Similarly, the Haryana government also told the apex court that the protesters who had been ‘dharna’ on the Singhu border have been camping in the nearly 6-km long lanes of NH-44 since November 27 last year.

The farmers are protesting the passage of three laws- Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) on Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Act, 2020 a settlement.

Initially, the protest started from Punjab in November last year and later spread to Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and some other parts of the country.

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