Farm laws unconstitutional, illegal: SC Bar association president
Senior lawyer and president of Supreme Court Bar Association Dushyant Dave on Friday said that the recently passed farm laws by the union government are “unconstitutional” and “illegal” and will eventually promote profiteering and legalise the exploitative money lending system in the villages.
A meeting took place today between the president of Supreme Court Bar Association, Dushyant Dave, Sangharsh Committee member and farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa and senior lawyer Harvinder Singh Phoolka on the ongoing farmers’ protest in the national capital.
After the meeting, Dave told ANI: “It is a matter of pride that Sangharsh Committee members met me regarding the farmers’ protest. I have told them that the recently passed farm laws are unconstitutional and illegal. These laws will legalise the exploitative money-lending system in the villages.
“This will promote profiteering. There is no protection to the farmers as most of them are small and marginal. How will they enter into agreements with traders and understand the terms? The situation will become such that traders will destroy the farmers,” he added.
Dave further said: “The government should think about these laws as it is their responsibility to hear the farmers, address the legal issues and bring an amendment to the law. The most important amendment should be that the trader should give in writing that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) will be ensured to the farmers.”
“The government has also mentioned that they want to keep the judicial system outside of the purview of this law. The joint secretaries and district magistrates will not be able to dispense justice to the farmers. Our judiciary is capable to dispense justice to the farmers. The government should include the judiciary system. But it is also true that cases will increase in the courts and hence this law is not required,” he added.
Dave further said: “This law also impacts the ‘democracy at the grassroots’. The farmers till now could do collective bargaining at Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMC). It is true that all APMCs were not working fine. But that does not mean that the government should bring in an even more exploitative law.”
“I am hopeful that the Prime Minister will address these issues and think about the welfare of the farmers, I will assist the farmers in their struggle in my personal capacity,” he added.
HS Phoolka said that the government should reconsider these farm laws as a senior advocate like Dave is also not on its side.
“We are thankful that Dushyant Dave will assist the farmers in their struggle. The government is saying that it has examined the law but it should think that if a senior lawyer like Dushyant Dave is also saying that these laws are not in the interest of the farmers then it must be considered by them,” Phoolka said.
“The government’s legal advisors may be differing on this issue but they should contemplate on it. Delhi Bar Council also announced that they examined these laws and declared that they are not in the interest of the farmers or advocates. The government should not make it an ego issue,” he added.
Phoolka further said, “India is a country of farmers. If all the farmers are uncomfortable, then how is our country a democracy? The government should sit with the farmers and advocates and then implement the amendments to these laws.”
Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa said: “We are very happy that Supreme Court lawyer Dushyant Dave is with us. The government should roll back these laws and make laws after consulting farmers. Dushyant Dave said that he will fight the cases for farmers free of cost. We are grateful to HS Phoolka who facilitated our meeting with Dave ji.”
Thousands of farmers have gathered in and around Delhi to protest against the three farm laws.
On Thursday, the farmers held the fourth round of talks with the Centre and said the government had talked of some amendments to farm laws.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said after the talks that the government has no ego and it was discussing the issues raised by farmers with an open mind.
“The government will discuss points that emerged at the meeting on Friday and hopes that talks will move towards finality when the next round of discussions are held on Saturday,” the minister had said.
The farmers are protesting against the 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.
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