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'Don't lecture us on patience..': Top 5 observations by CJI on farm laws case
New Delhi, January 11, 2021
The Supreme Court on Monday appeared determined on staying the implementation of the three farm laws, and during the hearing, made many critical observations on the Centre's inability to settle the issue through negotiations with protesting farmers staying put at various places on Delhi's borders.
Chief Justice S. A. Bobde, who headed the bench also comprising Justices A. S Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said it is extremely disappointing to see the way the Centre has handled the farmers' agitation. Something went enormously wrong as it failed to develop a consensus on the three laws by taking farmers' unions on board, while eight rounds of talks between the two sides have been inconclusive, he noted.
As Attorney General K. K. Venugopal, objecting to a stay, said the court should not pass an order in a hurry, the CJI responded: "Don't lecture us on patience... we have already given you a long rope."
Here are five of the CJI's other critical observations during the hearing.
1."We don't know whether you are part of the solution or the problem. There is not a single petition filed here which says the laws are beneficial," the Chief Justice said as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta attempted to make some submissions insisting on the implementation of the farm laws.
2. "All of us have a heavy responsibility to ensure things don't go wrong. We don't want blood of any one on our hands," the Chief Justice said, underscoring that any stray incident in the peaceful protest can lead it to the opposite direction, which may lead to loss of life and property.
3. "Sorry to say, we are because you, as the Union of India, did not take responsibility. You were not able to solve the problem... You should have been able to solve the strike, but you did not," the CJI said as the Attorney General, reacting to his statement: " We will stay implementation if the Centre doesn't do it", said the court may be on the brink of a drastic decision.
4. "Right to protest is intact. Right to protest should be exercised like Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha. Do it peacefully," the Chief Justice said, while declining to entertain Centre's arguments on the course of evolution of farm laws in the previous governments, on the grounds that they cannot blame the previous governments.
5. "... we are disappointed in the way you're handling this situation. States are up in rebellion against you," CJI Bobde told the government, stressing that the ongoing farmers' protest is a delicate matter.