Won’t be part of SC panel: Farm unions
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of major farm unions protesting three agricultural laws, on Monday said it was grateful to the Supreme Court for suggesting that the Union government put the laws on hold, but refused to be part of a panel proposed by the top court to scrutinise the laws.
“While all organisations welcome the suggestions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court to stay the implementation of the farm laws, they are collectively and individually not willing to participate in any proceedings before a committee that may be appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” a statement by the protesting farm unions issued on Monday said.
The Supreme Court on Monday said it was “extremely disappointed” with the way negotiations were being held between the Centre and the farmers over the three farm laws. It suggested a committee of experts to look into the laws “threadbare” and also suggested the government put the laws on hold.
Farmers’ unions spearheading the fight against the farm laws said they “are unanimous in their decision that laws must be repealed forthwith”, the statement added.
In what has been a tough political challenge for the Narendra Modi government, tens of thousands of protesting farmers have encircled the national capital for over a month, demanding the government scrap the three laws approved by Parliament in September to open agricultural markets.
“Our demand remains the same. We want the laws repealed. We have discussed everything with our lawyers,” Darshan Pal, a senior farm union leader, said.
The decision to not be a part of a court-proposed committee was taken in a discussion of top farm leaders and their lawyers including Balvir Singh Rajewal, Darshan Pal, Prem Singh Bhangu, Rajinder Singh Deep Singh Wala and Jagmohan Singh. The team of lawyers included senior advocates Dushyant Dave, Prashant Bhushan, Collin Gonsalves and HS Phoolka.
Explaining the reasons behind the decision, Pal said: “Looking to the attitude and approach of the government, which they made it clear before the court today repeatedly, that they will not agree to a discussion for repeal before the committee.” The stand deepens a stalemate in negotiations between the government and farm unions.
“We met our lawyers this evening at length and after deliberation on pros and cons of the suggestions of a (proposed) committee, we informed them (farmers’ lawyers) that we are unanimously not agreeable to go before any committee that may be appointed by Hon’ble Supreme Court today due to stubborn attitude of the government,” the statement said.
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