The three new laws at the heart of massive farmer protests near Delhi will not come into force for now. In a huge blow to the government, the Supreme Court has pressed pause on the laws enacted in September. The top court will also set up a committee of agricultural experts to take over negotiations with farmers to end the crisis. "We are staying three farm laws until further orders," Chief Justice SA Bobde announced. The government, however, stuck to its guns and told the court that the laws "were not hurriedly made", they were the result of two decades of deliberations. In eight rounds of talks with farmer unions over the past month, the government firmly ruled out withdrawing the laws but has insisted that amendments were on the table. The Supreme Court said it was trying to solve the problem in the best way and had the power to suspend the laws.
In a major decision, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of all three farm laws and also formed a committee comprising mostly agriculturists to hear the grievances of the farmer unions against the laws.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde said, “We are going to suspend the implementation of the three farm laws until further orders.”
The Chief Justice mentioned the names of agriculture economist Ashok Gulati, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi, Anil Dhanawat and BS Mann to be on the committee to hear the farmers’ issues regarding the laws.
The top court also issued a notice on the Delhi Police application seeking to stop farmers from entering the national capital to hold a tractor rally on the Republic Day.
Farmer leaders welcomed the Supreme Court decision to suspend the three farm laws but said they will not leave the protest site till the three laws were repealed.
Speaking to media after the Supreme Court order, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “Our protest will continue. We are demanding that the government repeal the three laws and also make a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price (MSP) for our produce.”
He also said farmers will continue the protest, regardless of the number of days it takes.
Tikait also said he will discuss the Supreme Court order of putting the three farm laws on hold with other farmer leaders.
Asked if farmers will participate in the panel formed by the Supreme Court, Tikait said, “We will discuss the issue in the core committee of farmers. And we will also go for the meeting with the government scheduled for January 15.”
Asked about the plans of taking out a tractor parade on January 26, he said, “Protests will continue, the Republic Day parade will go as planned.”
Tikait’s remarks came soon after the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of three farm laws and formed a committee comprising mostly agriculturists to hear the grievances of the farmer unions against the laws.
Speaking to media, Jaspreet Singh, a farmer leader said at the Singhu border, “We are demanding for the repeal of these farm laws. Farmers have been agitating for the last four months, at least 70 people have died.”
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh have been protesting at several borders of the national capital for last 48 days demanding the repeal of the three farm laws and the guarantee of MSP.
Earlier, seven rounds of talks of farmers with the government have remained inconclusive. The next round of talks with the government is scheduled for January 15. (IANS)