Protest of Farmers Should be Allowed to Continue Without Impediment: SC

Protest of farmers should be allowed to continue without impediment: SC

The bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian of Apex Court ordered that, protest of farmers at the border areas of Delhi and National Capital Region should be allowed to continue without impediment and without any breach of peace either by the protesters or the police.

Contention on behalf of the petitioners

The contention on behalf of the petitioners is that no fundamental right is absolute and it would be necessary for the Court to determine the contours of the right of free speech and expression involved in the farmers’ protest and the extent to which this right can be exercised consistently with the rights of other citizens.

Argument on behalf of respondent

According to the respondents, the roads are blocked by the police in order to prevent the entries of the protesters/farmers to the city of Delhi.

Findings of the Court

The Court held that “We clarify that this Court will not interfere with the protest in question. Indeed the right to protest is part of a fundamental right and can as a matter of fact, be exercised subject to public order. 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 law”.

Further it added that, we are 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 the police.

The Court said that it is informed that the protest is mainly directed against the three laws viz., (1) Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, (2) Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and (3) Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, enacted by the Parliament recently. The writ petitions challenging the said laws have been filed before this Court and will be decided in due course.

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We consider it appropriate in the interests of justice to constitute a Committee

In order to bring about an effective solution to the present stalemate between the protesters and the Government of India, we consider it appropriate in the interests of justice to constitute a Committee comprising of independent and impartial persons including experts in the field of Agriculture for the purpose. This may not be possible without hearing all the necessary parties. Till the parties come before us, it would be advisable to obtain suggestions about the constitution of the said Committee from all the parties which may be submitted by them on the date of next hearing in the matter.

The Court listed these matters after the ensuing winter vacation with liberty to move the Vacation Bench if necessary, after service is complete. In the meantime, the petitioners are given liberty to serve the unserved respondents/ impleaded farmers. The pendency of these matters will not prevent the parties from resolving the issue amicably, the Court said.

Protest of farmers should be allowed to continue without impediment: SC

Also Read: An Application Under Section 482 Of The CrPC Filed By A Person Who Is In No Way Associated With The Criminal Proceeding Can’t In General Be Entertained By The HC

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