Farmers want permission for tractor rally on Republic Day, Supreme Court hearing today
The Supreme Court will on Wednesday resume the hearing on the application filed by Delhi Police seeking a direction to put an injunction on the proposed tractor rally by farmers on Republic Day. The farmers, who have been protesting against the three central farm laws, have vowed to take out the rally on January 26.
The Delhi Police in its application has said that no tractor rally by farmers should be allowed it will malign the nation globally.
The case is being heard by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde. This bench, which last assembled on January 12, also comprises justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. On that day, the court had stayed the implementation of the three farm laws under challenge and formed a four-member expert committee to study the concerns raised by the farmer unions and submit its recommendations to the court in two months.
Bhupinder Mann, one of the members of the committee, had recused himself leaving just three members on the panel. Today, the bench could even decide on filling up the vacancy created by Mann.
On Monday, while hearing a case, the bench had said, "Right now, we can't deal with it... the question of entry into Delhi is a law and order situation that is to be determined by the police."
Meanwhile, the protesting farmer unions, which plan to hold the rally on the Outer Ring Road in Delhi, have begun preparing for it in villages in Punjab. They are mobilising people for the parade and said more farmers will be heading to the national capital in batches later this week.
“There is a great enthusiasm among people in Punjab to become part of the tractor parade. Our batches will start moving towards Delhi from January 23 and 24,” Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Sidhupur) president Jagjit Singh Dallewal said 20,000-25,000 tractors would come to Delhi from Punjab alone for the planned parade.
“We want the government to give us permission for our rally. This is our country and it is our constitutional right to voice our needs and demands," said Amarjeet Singh Rarra, general secretary, Deaba Kisan Committee, said on Delhi's Singhu border.
While the final plan for the rally is yet to be formulated, volunteers from among the protesters have been roped in to ensure discipline during the march, farmers said.
For nearly two months now, thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other states have been protesting against the new farm laws near Delhi. They say the laws will erode the safety net of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system and leave them at the mercy of big corporations.
The government, however, has discounted these fears and projected the three laws as major agricultural reforms. The tenth round of talks between the two sided will take place on Wednesday.
The three contentious laws are: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.
(With inputs from agencies)
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