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Farmers’ Protest Live Updates: SC suspends implementation of farm laws until further notice

Farmers’ Protest Live Updates: The Supreme Court Tuesday suspended the implementation of the three farm laws until further notice, and set up a committee comprising experts to hear the parties and understand the ground situation. When told the farmer unions were not willing to appear before the committee, the bench said those “genuinely” interested in finding a solution would do so.

The ruling came on a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the three farm laws that were enacted last September. A detailed order is expected later today.

“This is not politics. There is a difference between politics and judiciary and you will have to cooperate,” the bench, headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The committee will comprise Bhupinder Singh Mann of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Anil Ghanwat of Shetkari Sanghatana, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi and agricultural economist Ashok Gulati.

The SC also sought response from the Centre on whether a banned organisation had infiltrated the farmers’ protests. The direction came after P S Narasimha, who represented a petitioner supporting the farm laws, claimed members of ‘Sikhs for Justice’ were helping the protests. Saying it had information of Khalistanis in the protests, the Attorney General said he would file an affidavit with Intelligence Bureau records by Wednesday.

Further, the top court issued notice on the Delhi Police petition seeking to stop the tractor rally planned by farmers on Republic Day.

The Centre and farmer unions have engaged in eight rounds of talks so far, but failed to break the impasse. Farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at Delhi’s borders since November seeking repeal of the laws.

The laws in contention are: Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance & Farm Services Act 2020, Farmers Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act & Amendment to Essential Commodities Act.

LIVE BLOG

Live News Updates: Supreme Court suspends three farm laws, sets up committee of experts to hold talks; SC seeks response from Centre on Khalistanis infiltrating farmers’ protests; SC issues notice on Delhi Police plea seeking to stop Republic Day tractor rally. Read latest news and updates below

14:10 (IST)12 JAN 2021

SC sets up four-member committee to understand farmers’ protests

The four-member committee set up by the Supreme Court comprises Bhupinder Singh Mann of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Anil Ghanwat of Shetkari Sanghatana, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi and agricultural economist Ashok Gulati.

13:38 (IST)12 JAN 2021

JUST IN | SC suspends implementation of farm laws

The Supreme Court has suspended the implementation of three farm laws, and set up a committee to hold talks between farmer unions and the central government to resolve the impasse.

13:21 (IST)12 JAN 2021

SC seeks Centre’s response on allegation of banned organisation infiltrating farmers’ protests

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to file an affidavit by tomorrow on whether a banned organisation, ‘Sikhs for Justice’, has infiltrated the farmers’ protests. The SC order came after P S Narasimha, who represents a petitioner supporting the farm laws, submitted the same. The Attorney General has said he will file an affidavit with Intelligence Bureau records.

13:08 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Farmers’ protest: One union tells SC elderly and women have agreed to return home

A day after the SC told farmer unions to send home the elderly and women, AP Singh, representing farmers union BHU (Bhanu), says the message has been passed on to his clients and they have agreed to go back, reports Live Law. The CJI tells Singh his statement will be recorded.

The apex court Monday had requested that the elderly and women who were protesting at Delhi’s borders return home due to the cold and Covid-19.

13:03 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Hearing on farm laws: SC firm on forming committee, says willing to suspend the law but not indefinitely

During the hearing on the farm laws, the Supreme Court seems firm on constituting a committee to hear both sides — the farmer unions and central government. It says the committee will decide which parts of the law need to be deleted, and which will remain.

12:50 (IST)12 JAN 2021

SC of farm laws: Suspending law can’t be for empty purpose

The Supreme Court says it will pass an interim order that farmers land can’t be sold for contract farming, and adds that suspending the farm law can’t be for an empty purpose.

12:46 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Forming a committee to understand ground situation, says SC on farmers’ protests

Chief Justice S A Bobde says the committee will be constituted so that the Court can understand the “ground situation”. “We are forming the Committee so that we have a clearer picture. We want to solve the problem. We want to know the ground situation. That is why we are forming the committee,” he says, reported Live Law.

12:44 (IST)12 JAN 2021

CJI: Trying to protect life and property of citizens affected by farmers’ protests

Advocate M L Sharma, who is among the petitioners challenging the farm laws, tells the Supreme Court the farmers are unwilling to appear before a committee. According to Live Law, the CJI tells Sharma the Court is concerned about protecting the life and property of citizens affected by the farmers’ protests. “We are trying to solve the problem in accordance with the powers we have,” the CJI is quoted as saying by Live Law.

12:41 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Farm laws: SC hearing begins, order likely today

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, is now hearing a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the three farm laws, enacted last September. The bench is likely to pronounce its order in the case today.

11:38 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Opinion: Both government and farmers need to re-evaluate their positions

Ajay Vir Jakhar, chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj, writes: “Today, the perception is that farmers are on one side of the trenches and the government on the other. In every negotiation, both sides must have a face saver for the victory to have a lasting and positive impact. In the present circumstances, it’s absolutely essential to provide a way for the farmers to return home with dignity. Before the storm begins to take a turn for the worse or begins to ebb, it is time also for the farmers to reassess and seek positive concessions, because at the end of the agitation, no one would want a status quo ante, that is inevitable otherwise.” Read his opinion column here

Business As Usual by E P Unny
11:20 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Farmers’ protest at Delhi borders: How stir turned an expensive hobby into agitation mainstay

While we wait, read Kamaldeep Singh Brar’s report on how modified trollies, which once started as a convenient travel-and camp mode of transport for religious festivals in Punjab, have been the backbone of farmers’ protest in Delhi. These “travelling homes” not long ago invited criticism for Punjabi youth who would spend a fortune on turning them into luxury contraptions tagging behind tractors. But the farm protest has turned this fad or an expensive hobby for some into a symbol of fight for ones rights.

11:07 (IST)12 JAN 2021

SC verdict on farmers’ protests shortly

The Supreme Court bench will assembly any minute now and pronounce its verdict on the farmers’ protests. The bench is headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, and comprises Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. Stay tuned!

10:37 (IST)12 JAN 2021

BKU president Chaduni, 70 others booked for disturbance in Khattars’s event
Farmers disrupt Khattar’s ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ programme in. (Express Photo: Jasbir Malhi)

Haryana Police Monday booked BKU president Gurnam Singh Chaduni and 70 others for “creating disturbance in the kisan panchayat” of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at Kaimla village of Karnal district Sunday. Police say the accused have been booked for “entering into the event venue with sticks, damaging the government property, conspiracy, assault on the government employees and instigating the people”.

After the event was cancelled, Khattar had accused Chaduni for instigating the farmers “to create ruckus in the kisan panchayat”. Read Sukhbir Siwach’s report

09:59 (IST)12 JAN 2021

ML Khattar, Dushyant Chautala to meet Amit Shah today

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi Tuesday to discuss the political scenario in the state. Prior to the meeting, Dushyant will speak to JJP MLAs at his farmhouse in the national capital. Protesting farmers had ransacked the venue of Khattar’s “kisan mahapanchayat” at a Karnal village on Sunday.

Sources said the BJP-JJP leaders will brief the Union Home Minister about the recent developments. Apart from Khattar and Dushyant, state BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar, state Education Minister Kanwar Pal Gujjar and JJP state president Nishan Singh will be part of the delegation, a senior BJP leader confirmed.

The exercise is seen as an attempt to keep the flock of MLAs in the alliance together amid increasing pressure over them with the farmers’ agitation dominating the political landscape in Haryana for the past one-and-a-half month, write Varinder Bhatia and Sukhbir Siwach.

09:36 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Farmers’ protest: Sonia Gandhi dials Opposition leaders, Sharad Pawar meets Left leaders
Sitaram Yechury after meeting Sharad Pawar in Delhi. (Express Photo: Anil Sharma)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has begun talking to Opposition leaders and is planning to convene a meeting to formulate a joint Opposition strategy on the farmers’ protests. Her initiative came on a day NCP chief Sharad Pawar met Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja. The Left leaders said they discussed the issue of farmer protests. Read more here

09:05 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Staying the law: courts have been very cautious

How the Supreme Court operationalises its suggestion to stay the operation of the three farm laws and open fresh talks via a committee will be evident in its order Tuesday. However, a line of precedents shows that courts have been very cautious while passing interim orders to stay laws passed by the Legislature. Apurva Vishwanath recalls past judgments

08:30 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Centre details ‘2 decades’ of talks, says no option but reforms post-Covid

The Centre filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court Monday detailing the “two decades of deliberations” that took place before the farm laws were framed. It underlined the “serious, sincere and constructive efforts” made by the government to engage with “the limited number” of farmers protesting the laws.

The affidavit said the committee “specifically consulted farmers from various states”, and hence the petitioners’ claim of not being consulted “has no basis in fact whatsoever”.

Read Ananthakrishnan G’s report

08:04 (IST)12 JAN 2021

Farmers celebrate after the SC hearing, at the Ghazipur border Monday. (Express Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

Farmer unions have welcomed the Supreme Court’s outburst against the Centre, but turned down the idea of a committee to resolve the issue. Representatives Monday reiterated their demand for a repeal of the farm laws, not merely a stay on them. “… we informed (our lawyers) that we are unanimously not agreeable to go before any committee that may be appointed by the SC due to stubborn attitude of the government,” read a statement from the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, a joint forum of farm unions. Read Amil Bhatnagar and Raakhi Jagga’s report

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