Farmers’ Protests: SC tells Centre ‘your negotiations haven’t worked’, suggests forming committee to resolve stand-off

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The apex court bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde, and justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian also directed the petitioners to make the protesting farmer unions parties to the pleas and posted the matter for hearing on Thursday

The Supreme Court is considering forming a committee comprising members of the farmers’ associations, the Government of India and other stakeholders after Centre-led “negotiations” failed to break the deadlock over the farm laws, several media reports said.

The apex court bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, and justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, hearing a clutch of petitions seeking the removal of farmers camping at several roads near Delhi borders in protest against the three new agriculture laws, told the Centre: “Your negotiations with protesting farmers have not worked apparently till now.”

As per a report in The Times of India, the apex court further told the Centre that urgent resolution measures are required as the farmers at the Delhi border do not appear to be in a mood to talk and that the protest “will soon become a national issue” if the dispute isn’t settled immediately.

Meanwhile, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta told the SC bench that the government will not do anything against the interest of farmers. As per a report in Live Law, Mehta urged the Supreme Court to “direct farmers organisations to sit with the government clause by clause [sic] so that there can be a debate or discussion with an open mind”.

CJI Bobde then told Mehta that the talks will be successful only when both sides are represented by people willing to negotiate, as per Live Law.

“The government was and is ready for negotiations,” Mehta said, as per a report in NDTV, but “the difficulty is the farmers’ ‘yes or no’ approach. Different ministers talked to them, but they turned their chairs back and did not talk.”

“It appears now some other interests have taken over the farmers protests,” added Mehta.

“Your negotiation will again fail as they won’t agree,” CJI Bobde told Mehta, as per a report in Bar And Bench.

“Give us names of organisations who can be before us [sic],” he added.

In a hearing conducted via video conferencing, the Supreme Court bench also directed the petitioners to make protesting farmer unions parties to the pleas and posted the matter for hearing on Thursday, PTI reported.

Multiple pleas have been filed in the SC seeking a direction to authorities to immediately remove the farmers, saying commuters are facing hardships due to the road blockades and the gatherings might lead to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

With inputs from PTI

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