“You have made a law without enough consultation”: CJI Bobde comes down heavily on central government for mishandling farmers’ protest; Solicitor General protests


CJI SA Bobde on Monday made scathing observations against the Centre’s Narendra Modi government for mishandling the farmers’ protests, prompting Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to protest. Unaffected by government lawyer’s pleas, CJI Bobde said that he was inclined to pass an order staying the implementation of the three Farm Laws.

This was after a Supreme Court Bench headed by CJI Bobde resumed hearing the matter of ongoing farmers’ protests at various borders connecting Delhi. The CJI told Attorney General without mincing words, “We are sorry to say that you, as the Union of India, are not able to solve the problem. You have made a law without enough consultation resulting in a strike. So you have to resolve the strike.”

During the last hearing on 17 December, the same Bench had suggested that the Centre should put on hold the implementation of three laws to facilitate talks. The top court on Monday told the government, “Our intention is clear. We want an amicable solution for the problem. That is why we asked you last time, why don’t you keep the laws on hold. But you are keeping asking on time.”

CJI Bobde said that if the central government had any sense of responsibility and it promises to ‘withhold the implementation of laws,’ the court will form a committee to decide. “We don’t see why there should be an insistence that the laws must be implemented at any cost,” the CJI continued.

When the Solicitor General sought to intervene, CJI Bobde said, “We don’t know if you are part of the problem or solution.” He asked the SG, “You tell us if you will put on hold the implementation of the laws. Otherwise we will do it. What is the problem in keeping it in abeyance?”

The CJI said that the top court did not want blood on its hands adding that farmers were ending their lives by suicides. “Each one of us will be responsible if something goes wrong…We don’t want anybody’s blood on our hands,” Livelaw quoted the CJI as saying.

CJI Bobde also urged protesting farmers to send elderly members of their families back home in view of freezing cold and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting at several places bordering Delhi demanding the withdrawal of the three Farm Laws. The government has held at least eight rounds of talks with union leaders without any headway.

Harish Salve tried to raise the issue of the alleged involvement of one Canada-based Sikh group in the farmers’ protest, but there was no taker to his argument in the court as the Bench rose to pass the order. Even when the CJI was rising to pass an order, the SG pleaded one more time, “Kindly remove the impression that we did not do enough. We gave our best.”


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