Farmers have rejected the committee formed by SC on the grounds that it is pro-government. (REUTERS)
Farmers have rejected the committee formed by SC on the grounds that it is pro-government. (REUTERS)

Farm laws: SC irked over criticism of court-appointed committee members

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said there was no question of bias as the committee has not been given any adjudicatory powers
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:20 PM IST

Faced with criticism over the appointment of a four-member committee to hear farmers’ point of view on the validity of farm laws, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said there was no question of bias as the committee has not been given any adjudicatory powers.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde was hearing an application moved by Bhartiya Kisan Party that demanded filling up of a vacancy in the committee due to the resignation of member Bhupinder Singh Mann. Advocate Ajay Chaudhary, representing this farmers’ union, argued that there was apprehension among the farmers based on the other members’ opinions in favour of the laws as reported in newspapers.

The bench, also comprising justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, issued a notice to the Centre on the application and said, “You can’t brand people like this and cast aspersions on Court.. . .We have serious objections on people whom we have appointed being called names and that this Court has interest in selecting them. We will decide on Constitutionality of the laws but we will not expose the members whom we appointed to such maligning based on public opinion decided by majority. “

Chaudhary pointed out news clippings where committee members openly expressed their view in favour of the three farm laws—Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

“Where is the question of bias when the Committee is not given any power to adjudicate. We have asked them to hear the grievances of farmers and give us a report.”

Regarding Mann, the court said he had sought modifications to the farm laws.

“You unthinkingly cast aspersions on people because they have expressed some opinion in the past and you think they are disqualified to sit in the Committee. This has become a culture of branding people whom you do not want and criticising them. The reputation of people we appointed has been torn to shreds. Public opinion is important but it is not determinative for the Court to decide.”

The CJI said that the only interest of the court was to find a solution to the dispute and that’s why the Supreme Court on January 12 formed a committee of four experts. Mann resigned from the committee, leaving three others— Pramod Kumar Joshi, Ashok Gulati and Anil Ghanwat of Shetkeri Sangathana.

“They are the most brilliant minds in the field of agriculture. Do you think they don’t understand the subject. Even the best of judges have given an opinion but have later delivered judgment taking an opposite view,” said the bench.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan informed the court that the eight farmer unions he represented did not wish to appear before the committee. “We are convinced that these laws need to be repealed. We don’t want to discuss amendments. The unions are proposing a tractor rally on January 26 to peacefully protest.”

The bench asked Bhushan about his absence on January 12 when it constituted the committee after taking consent of the farmers’ unions. It added that it was not its mandate to force the unions to go before the committee but asked Bhushan to counsel his clients to stop agitating and ensure Delhi citizens of complete peace.

“In democracy, other than repeal, the power to set aside a law lies with the Court. We are seized of it. But we request you to stop the agitation,” the bench said.

Attorney General KK Venugopal informed the court that 5,000 tractors are sought to be brought in that day. In this connection, even an application by Delhi Police was pending before Court seeking an injunction against holding of a tractor rally.

The Supreme Court said, “These are matters purely in the domain of the executive. We consider it highly irregular and improper to disallow any rally or procession. It is for police to grant permission. You are the executive of the country. You are free to take any action.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested the court to keep the matter pending till January 25 in view of the situation’s development. The bench refused and asked police to withdraw its application.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Representational image. (AP)
Representational image. (AP)

Mizoram prepares for possible influx of refugees fleeing Myanmar after coup

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:54 AM IST
In an order issued on Tuesday, the Champhai administration asked people in the district, especially those residing in border areas, to immediately notify any information about Myanmarese nationals entering India seeking shelter
Close
Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is administered the COVAXIN vaccine, developed by Indian company Bharat Biotech, with his wife Nutan Goel sitting next to him after receiving her shot at a private hospital in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. India is expanding its coronavirus vaccination drive beyond health care and front-line workers, offering the shots to older people and those with medical conditions that put them at risk. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)(AP)
Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is administered the COVAXIN vaccine, developed by Indian company Bharat Biotech, with his wife Nutan Goel sitting next to him after receiving her shot at a private hospital in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. India is expanding its coronavirus vaccination drive beyond health care and front-line workers, offering the shots to older people and those with medical conditions that put them at risk. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)(AP)

Vaccination phase 2: List of Delhi pvt hospitals where you can get Covid jabs

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:49 AM IST
To get inoculated at private hospitals, one has to register through Co-Win and look for the nearest hospital available. One shot of vaccines comes at 250 at a private hospital.
Close
Representational image. (AFP)
Representational image. (AFP)

SC seeks Centre, EC response on listing 26 Assam women in doubtful voters list

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:30 AM IST
The Electoral Registration Officer said that the women were put in the D-voter category in 1997. However, the ERO said that there were no records stating why
Close
Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora. (File photo)
Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora. (File photo)

EC tells fuel pumps to remove hoardings with PM photo: What the order says

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:11 AM IST
The EC has directed that all hoardings be removed within 72 hours as the use of the PM’s photo in such hoardings violates the model code of conduct
Close
Taj Mahal was briefly shut on Thursday morning after authorities received a hoax bomb threat.
Taj Mahal was briefly shut on Thursday morning after authorities received a hoax bomb threat.

Taj Mahal evacuated after man phoned cops, said the bomb will go off soon

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:55 AM IST
Around 1,000 tourists were at the Taj Mahal on Thursday when the authorities received a bomb threat.
Close
The analysis said it is difficult to assess the state of the temporary lake at the confluence above Raini village from remote sensing data alone. (PTI)
The analysis said it is difficult to assess the state of the temporary lake at the confluence above Raini village from remote sensing data alone. (PTI)

Stability of rocks, river flow in Rishi Ganga needs careful monitoring: Analysis

By Jayashree Nandi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:46 AM IST
The analysis by GAPHAZ underlined that large volumes of debris have been eroded and deposited along the river channel after the breach
Close
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. (PTI)
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. (PTI)

SC rejects sedition plea against Farooq Abdullah: All you need to know

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:38 AM IST
“Expression of views which are different from the opinion of the government cannot be termed as seditious. It cannot become sedition only because one has a different view,” said the bench
Close
The number of active cases in the country which was around 1.50 lakh in the initial week of February has also increased to over 1.73 lakh.(PTI)
The number of active cases in the country which was around 1.50 lakh in the initial week of February has also increased to over 1.73 lakh.(PTI)

India reports 17,407 new Covid-19 cases, below 100 deaths in last 24 hours

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:26 AM IST
The government has asked the states and union territories reporting a hike in daily Covid-19 cases to maintain a rigorous vigil to contain the spread of the fatal virus.
Close
A health worker at Aundh district hospital shows Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin ahead of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccine rollout, in Pune on January 15. (HT file photo)
A health worker at Aundh district hospital shows Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin ahead of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccine rollout, in Pune on January 15. (HT file photo)

Covaxin has 81% efficacy, says Bharat Biotech: What does it mean

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:22 AM IST
The announcement based on preliminary results from Covaxin’s Phase 3 clinical trials is expected to come as a shot in the arm for India’s vaccination drive
Close
The Supreme Court. (HT archive)
The Supreme Court. (HT archive)

SC allows man to meet daughter who has accused him of killing her mother

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:00 AM IST
A bench, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, called the situation “difficult” as the child had recorded her statement as an eyewitness to her mother’s murder at their home in Haryana’s Bhiwani in January 2020
Close
The Finance Minister's commitment "will help contain, and lead our nation towards accomplishing a Covid-19 disease free Bharat," said Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella.(MINT_PRINT)
The Finance Minister's commitment "will help contain, and lead our nation towards accomplishing a Covid-19 disease free Bharat," said Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella.(MINT_PRINT)

'People criticised us': Bharat Biotech head on Covaxin's journey from March 2020

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:51 AM IST
If people have got patience, they should read those articles, Krishna Ella said.
Close
Outstation passengers undergo Covid-19 tests on their arrival at Thane railway station, as Maharashtra sees renewed spike in coronavirus cases, in Thane on February 21. (File photo)
Outstation passengers undergo Covid-19 tests on their arrival at Thane railway station, as Maharashtra sees renewed spike in coronavirus cases, in Thane on February 21. (File photo)

Six states contribute 86% of daily new Covid cases: Govt data

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:26 AM IST
According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare, Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Karnataka have shown the maximum increase in new cases on a week-on-week basis
Close
Rupam used to sell forged job offer documents, foreign liquor licenses among others. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Rupam used to sell forged job offer documents, foreign liquor licenses among others. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Tripura Lok Janshakti Party chief arrested for forgery and cheating

By Priyanka Deb Barman, Agartala
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:06 AM IST
  • A crime branch team of Tripura police led by deputy superintendent of police Ajay Kumar Das raided Kar's residence and recovered forged documents.
Close
Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra said this happens to that part of Bollywood that stands straight.
Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra said this happens to that part of Bollywood that stands straight.

News updates from HT: I-T raids on Anurag, Taapsee do not surprise NCP, Sena

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:02 AM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
The Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will soon take up the case of Maratha quota law's validity.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
The Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will soon take up the case of Maratha quota law's validity.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

SC rules out immediate hearing on pleas challenging Tamil Nadu’s 69% quota law

By Abraham Thomas, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:41 AM IST
  • The petitions challenging the Tamil Nadu quota law have been pending in the Supreme Court since 2012.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP