On Tuesday, a three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, had said: “We are of the view that a stay of implementation of all the three farm laws for the present may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith.”(HT PHOTO)
On Tuesday, a three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, had said: “We are of the view that a stay of implementation of all the three farm laws for the present may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith.”(HT PHOTO)

Experts surprised by stay before validity test

Former Supreme Court (SC) judges and legal scholars have expressed surprise at the apex court’s order staying the implementation of the three farm laws.
By Abraham Thomas
UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 05:39 AM IST

Former Supreme Court (SC) judges and legal scholars have expressed surprise at the apex court’s order staying the implementation of the three farm laws and pointed to the absence of judicial precedents where a law was stayed without the legislation, prima facie, declared as having flouted constitutional norm or violated fundamental rights. This, they also warned, can become a precedent for other courts.

On Tuesday, a three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, had said: “We are of the view that a stay of implementation of all the three farm laws for the present may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith.”

Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan said, “Courts do not stay any legislation before deciding upon its constitutionality. Here, instead of first going into the constitutionality of the laws in question, the Court has stayed the three laws and delegated a committee with the task of making recommendations on it after hearing farmers. To my memory, this has never happened.”

The former CJI recalled instances where consequences of a law are stayed, which is distinct from staying the law itself. “In the past, the Court has stayed the consequences of a legislation where it if of the view that allowing the same will lead to irreparable damage. But to stay a law, its constitutionality has to be tested, arguments heard and then declared to be null or void. Here the Court is yet to examine the constitutionality of the laws under challenge.”

Former Supreme Court judge Justice Deepak Gupta agreed, and said, “The Court is right in saying that it is not powerless. It has power to stay a law upfront where it finds that a particular law could not be passed by a state or Centre on grounds of legislative competence. Also, a law can be ex-facie legal or unconstitutional. But in these circumstances, the Court has to give reasons for granting stay on a law. I did not find any reasons after reading the order passed by Court on Tuesday.”

The only reason cited by the three-judge bench for staying the laws was to encourage farmers to come to the talking table. Asked about whether this was a suitable ground to stay a law, Justice Gupta said, “I do not think this can be the basis for staying a law. We do not make policies. Court is entrusted to decide the validity of a law based on Constitution and judicial precedents. Courts should not become a platform for political warfare. There are instances when Courts have stepped into legislative turf in public interest as in the Vishaka case. This is because we have powers to do complete justice under Article 142. This order does not make any reference to Article 142 nor does it state that the same should not be treated as precedent in future cases.”

Legal scholar and advocate Gautam Bhatia said the task of the Supreme Court is to resolve legal disputes before it. “It is not to act as a super-mediator or a family elder. In particular, the SC — going by its own precedent — is only supposed to ‘stay’ a law if it finds that prima facie that law is unconstitutional. In the past, the SC has refused to stay laws where not only serious challenges were mounted to their constitutionality, but also where allowing status quo to continue directly benefited the government, which was able to change facts on the ground. Examples include Aadhaar, J&K Reorganisation, and electoral bonds, the latter two of which still remain in cold storage.” Bhatia added that while comparing the Court’s behaviour in those cases with its behaviour now, the “inconsistency is glaring”. “It leaves the Court open to credible accusations that it is acting more like a participant in political conflict rather than an adjudicator.”

Alok Prasanna Kumar, senior resident fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy said, “The Court has not applied any reason to stay the laws and the reason cited has no bearing with any established legal principles. In the process, what it has created is more confusion and chaos. With today’s order, the legal effect of the three laws has been thrown into doubt since the laws haven’t been rubbed off. In such a situation, what happens to transactions which took place under the new laws and the decisions taken by state governments pursuant to adopting them? The order is silent on these aspects.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The Congress on Friday vowed to continue their protests till the farm laws are repealed by the Centre
The Congress on Friday vowed to continue their protests till the farm laws are repealed by the Centre

Farm bills have potential but cannot ignore

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:34 AM IST
There is, however, a need to strengthen the social safety net for those who might be adversely affected by the transition to the new system, Gerry Rice, Director of Communications at IMF, said at a news conference in Washington on Thursday.
Close
Ex-IAS Arvind Kumar Sharma joined BJP on Thursday.
Ex-IAS Arvind Kumar Sharma joined BJP on Thursday.

BJP fields former IAS officer as its candidate for UP MLC elections

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:26 AM IST
On Thursday, former Gujarat cadre Indian Administrative Service officer Arvind Kumar Sharma had joined the party after taking voluntary retirement from service earlier this week. He was due to retire in July 2022.
Close
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.(PTI)
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.(PTI)

Congress won’t relent till Centre repeals ‘black’ laws, says Rahul

UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:17 AM IST
“Congress will stand by the farmers in their protest as the three agricultural laws have been passed to destroy them, and help and benefit the big industrialists,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Close
On Friday, elected representatives from the neighbouring villages in Sattari submitted a formal request to Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant asking him to shift the project elsewhere.(PTI/ File photo)
On Friday, elected representatives from the neighbouring villages in Sattari submitted a formal request to Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant asking him to shift the project elsewhere.(PTI/ File photo)

After protests, Goa CM announces relocation of IIT project from Melaulim

UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:04 AM IST
The decision caps more than six months of protests largely by the residents of Melaulim village who had refused to concede land and had set up a blockade at the entrance to the site refusing to allow government surveyors to enter the village to demarcate the land.
Close
According to people familiar with the matter, Amit Shah is scheduled to attend programmes in Bengal on January 30 and 31.(ANI)
According to people familiar with the matter, Amit Shah is scheduled to attend programmes in Bengal on January 30 and 31.(ANI)

BJP leaders meet Shah over Bengal poll

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:54 AM IST
Bengal BJP leaders said that Friday’s meeting was held to review the Bengal poll preparedness against the backdrop of the report five central leaders prepared for Shah. Induction of leaders from the Trinamool Congress and other parties was also discussed at the meeting, said a BJP leader.
Close
BSP chief Mayawati also urged the Centre to accept all the demands of agitating farmers including repeal of the three farm laws(ANI photo)
BSP chief Mayawati also urged the Centre to accept all the demands of agitating farmers including repeal of the three farm laws(ANI photo)

Will go it alone in Uttarakhand, UP

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:45 AM IST
Mayawati, who turned 65 on Friday, said just like 2007, the BSP will form a government in Uttar Pradesh on its own in 2022. “I have never compromised with principles for the sake of getting power. All BSP workers must unitedly start preparing for these elections,” she said.
Close
The CBI FIR states that “in the case of SSPNML, R K Sangwan, who was previous investigating officer of the case, offered and paid a bribe of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>10 lakh in cash on behalf of Mandeep Kaur to Inspector Kapil Dhankad”(HT PHOTO.)
The CBI FIR states that “in the case of SSPNML, R K Sangwan, who was previous investigating officer of the case, offered and paid a bribe of 10 lakh in cash on behalf of Mandeep Kaur to Inspector Kapil Dhankad”(HT PHOTO.)

CBI ‘bribe-for-relief’ racket was running since 2018, finds probe

By Neeraj Chauhan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:39 AM IST
The agency has identified bribes worth 55 lakh paid to two of its officers– Deputy Superintendent of Police , R K Rishi ( 30 lakh) and Inspector Kapil Dhankad ( 25 lakh) – in lieu of favours extended to at least three companies.
Close
The Adani group clinched the six airports — Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru — in a global competitive bid by offering the highest revenue share to the government.(MINT_PRINT)
The Adani group clinched the six airports — Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru — in a global competitive bid by offering the highest revenue share to the government.(MINT_PRINT)

Panel ignored advice on bidder: Officials

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:35 AM IST
The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2018 gave “in-principle” approval for leasing out six airports of the state-run Airports Authority of India through the public private partnership appraisal committee.
Close
“The drones executed an array of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled simulated offensive missions and close support tasks during the parade,” the army said in a statement.
“The drones executed an array of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled simulated offensive missions and close support tasks during the parade,” the army said in a statement.

Army displays drone swarming prowess

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:24 AM IST
The army’s drone swarming capability is under development, though it has been tested for HADR roles, which are largely dropping medicines and essential items. The technology is being developed by the army in partnership with a Bengaluru-based start-up NewSpace Research and Technologies.
Close
Army soldiers demonstrate a drone attack during the 73rd Army Day parade, in New Delhi on Friday.
Army soldiers demonstrate a drone attack during the 73rd Army Day parade, in New Delhi on Friday.

Don’t test India’s patience, Army chief warns China

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:17 AM IST
General Manoj Mukund Naravane, in a media briefing on January 12, said the army was prepared to hold ground in eastern Ladakh “for as long as it takes” to achieve national objectives in case the ongoing military and diplomatic talks with China to reduce tensions are “prolonged”.
Close
Nepalese foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali, in India with a delegation that includes Nepal’s foreign and health secretaries, co-chaired a meeting of the bilateral joint commission with his counterpart S Jaishankar
Nepalese foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali, in India with a delegation that includes Nepal’s foreign and health secretaries, co-chaired a meeting of the bilateral joint commission with his counterpart S Jaishankar

Kathmandu requests early provision of vaccines

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:07 AM IST
Both sides have worked closely to combat the pandemic, and the Nepalese side lauded India on its success in the production of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines and “requested for early provision of vaccines to Nepal”, the external affairs ministry said.
Close
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat (right) interacts with soldiers deployed in the forward areas of Ladakh on January 12.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat (right) interacts with soldiers deployed in the forward areas of Ladakh on January 12.

Ladakh personnel may be among first from the force to get vaccine

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:58 AM IST
At least 12,000 doses of the vaccine have reached Ladakh of which around 4,000 have been earmarked for armed forces personnel to protect them from Covid-19, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Close
Alok Kumar, treasurer of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerath Kshetra trust said in a letter given along with the money, the President has specified that the donation was in his personal capacity(PTI)
Alok Kumar, treasurer of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerath Kshetra trust said in a letter given along with the money, the President has specified that the donation was in his personal capacity(PTI)

President Kovind donates Rs5 lakh for Ram Temple construction in Ayodhya

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:50 AM IST
VHP’s international working president Alok Kumar, Govind Dev Giri, the treasure of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerath Kshetra Trust, and former bureaucrat Nripendra Misra, who heads the temple construction committee, were part of the delegation that met the President
Close
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recordings showed the overall air quality index (AQI) in the Capital at 460, deteriorating from Thursday’s 429
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recordings showed the overall air quality index (AQI) in the Capital at 460, deteriorating from Thursday’s 429

Delhi air in toxic zone, could get worse today

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:40 AM IST
Union ministry of earth science’s air quality monitoring centre, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), said the city-state was looking at the “first prolonged extreme air pollution event of 2021”.
Close
"We suggested that the farmers form a smaller group with outside people who have expertise on the issue, but the unions rejected our suggestion,” agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said
"We suggested that the farmers form a smaller group with outside people who have expertise on the issue, but the unions rejected our suggestion,” agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said

Ninth round of farm talks inconclusive

By Zia Haq
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:09 AM IST
Like several earlier rounds of discussions, the farm unions demanded that the government commit to complete rollback of the laws. At Friday’s talks, the government proposed that the 41-member farmers’ delegation form a “smaller group” with “people who have expertise on laws”.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP