Supreme Court questions farmers’ protests blocking roads indefinitely
Delhi -Though the farmers have the right to protest, they are taking advantage of their freedom by blocking the roads indefinitely, the Indian apex court said on Thursday.
The Supreme Court has given three weeks’ time to the protesting farmer’s unions to file the response to a petition that has been filed seeking removal of the farmers protesting and blocking the roads. The next hearing on the matter has been extended to December 7. The farmer’s unions have been leading the farmers agitation, which is nearing a year, demanding the complete withdrawal of the farm laws. The protesting farmers have kept their base at Delhi borders and nearby areas.
The decision by the court is in response to the petition filed by a Noida resident urging courts to intervene into the protests and urging farmers to be removed from roads around NCR (national capital region). “Ultimately some solution has to be found. We are not averse to their right to protest even when a legal challenge is pending, but roads cannot be blocked,” the apex court said.
“Redressal can be through judicial form, agitation, or parliamentary debates. But how can highways be blocked and this happens perpetually? Where does it end?”, Justice S K Kaul, who was heading a two-judge bench, said in his remarks while hearing the petition filed by Noida resident Monica Agarwal, regarding the hardships being born by the common man and daily commuters due to roadblocks by protesters.
Farmers under many unions are protesting against the three agriculture laws proposed by the Central government – The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020. The protests that had started in Punjab, later on, reached Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh in November 2020.