Farmers protest: SC asks how can highways be blocked perpetually

The Supreme Court said it was the executive's duty to implement a law laid down by the court, while allowing the Centre to file a formal application to make some farmer unions party to a plea on opening a road blockade along the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border.
The Supreme Court.(Reuters)
The Supreme Court.(Reuters)
Updated on Sep 30, 2021 01:34 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Thursday called for redressal through judicial forum, agitation or parliamentary debates while referring to the nearly year-long blockade of highways by farmers over the three farms laws.

"The redressal of problems can be through judicial forum, agitation or through Parliamentary debates. But how can the highways be blocked and this is happening perpetually. Where does this end?” the apex court said.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh was hearing a petition for removal of the road blockades along the borders of Delhi.

Stating that it was the executive's duty to implement the law laid down by the court, the SC allowed the Centre to file a formal application to make some farmer unions party to the plea seeking opening of road blockade along the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at UP Gate. The matter will be heard next Monday when the application is filed.

A Noida resident, Monicca Agrawaal, had filed the petition seeking the withdrawal of the roadblock stating it took two hours to reach Delhi from the area, a stretch that could be covered in 20 minutes before the stir began.

The bench asked additional solicitor general KM Nataraj what was the government doing in the matter.

Nataraj said a meeting had been convened with the protesting farmers and details of the same were mentioned in the affidavit.

The bench said, “We may lay down a law but how to implement the law is your business. The court cannot implement it. It is the executive who has to implement it”.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta agreed that it was the duty of the executive to implement the law.

The bench said, “When we lay down the law, you will say it is encroachment and we trespassed into the domain of the executive. This has ramifications but there are also grievances which need to be addressed. This cannot be a perpetual problem”.

Mehta said a three-member committee was formed to address the grievances of the farmers, but the representatives of the aggrieved agri community refused to join in the discussions.

Mehta said the court should allow the petitioner to make the farmers union party to the petition, so that later they would not be able to say that they were not made parties in the matter.

The bench told Mehta that it was he who had to move an application for making farmers representative party as the petitioner, a private individual, may not know who their leaders were.

“If you feel that someone is to be made party, you will have to make a request. You move a formal application giving details about the steps taken to resolve their grievances and how the impleadment of representatives of farmers will help in the resolution of the dispute”, the bench said, while listing the plea for hearing on October 4. Mehta said an application would be filed by Friday.

On August 23, the top court had said that the Centre and Delhi's neighbouring states should find a solution to road blockades on the national capital's borders due to farmers' protest.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021