File photo: Relatives of farmers who are believed to have died by suicide over debt issues, congregate during the ongoing protest against new farm laws at Tikri Border in Delhi.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
File photo: Relatives of farmers who are believed to have died by suicide over debt issues, congregate during the ongoing protest against new farm laws at Tikri Border in Delhi.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Farmer unions to consult top lawyers including Prashant Bhushan on SC proceedings

The All farmer unions have decided to consult four Supreme Court lawyers - Prashant Bhushan, Dushyant Dave, HS Phoolka and Colin Gonsalves - about the ongoing proceedings in the Supreme Court.
By Fareeha Iftikhar | Edited by Sparshita Saxena | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 17, 2020 07:29 PM IST

The agitating farmer unions at the Delhi borders on Thursday said that they will consult lawyers on the ongoing proceedings of the Supreme Court related to their protests against three farm laws before taking any decision.

Addressing a press conference on Singhu border on Thursday evening, farmers leader and coordinator of Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh KV Biju said, “All farmer unions had a meeting today and we have decided that we will consult four Supreme Court lawyers - Prashant Bhushan, Dushyant Dave, HS Phoolka and Colin Gonsalves - about the ongoing proceedings in the Supreme Court… We will neither comment on the matter nor announce any decision without consulting these lawyers.”

The Supreme Court stepped in on Wednesday to try and end the impasse between farmers’ unions and the Centre over the contentious new laws to open up trade in agriculture, observing that the protest will soon become a national issue and that recent events suggest government negotiations with the unions were “bound to fail again.” A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde on Thursday asked the attorney general for India if the government can commit that the farm laws will not be implemented while the court is hearing the petitions filed against the ongoing protest.

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The farmer leaders said that they have not received any notice from the apex court so far. “We have only got to know what is happening in the Supreme Court through the media. We have not received any notice or communication as of now. We will take a legal decision only after consulting these four lawyers,” said another farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal.

The agitation at Delhi’s four key borders – Singhu, Tikri, UP Gate, and Chilla – entered the 22nd day on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Senior advocate and the president of the Supreme Court bar association Dushyant Dave said that he had offered free legal advice to the farmers on all issues. “If they have decided to take my help it is a privilege and honour for me. After all, for this country ‘Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisan’ means the most. It’s my duty as the lawyer of the Supreme Court to help them as much as I can… I will be happy to appear for them in the Supreme Court if they ask me.”

Senior advocate HS Phoolka also confirmed that the farmer leaders had consulted him and the other three lawyers on the matter.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan said that he will be offering legal advice to the farmer associations if they approach him.

Advocate Colin Gonsalves said, “The discussion with farmers is in the very initial stage. We might be able to comment on it after a couple of days.”

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