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Court vs Kisan: Kisan Mahapanchayat parts ways with other protestors, SC issues notice to 43 office bearers from various groups

The Kisan Mahapanchayat further stated that it parted ways with other farmer organizations after differences of opinions emerged on the manner of protests, especially after January 26 riots.

Kisan Mahapancahyat, a farmers’ body, has distanced itself from other protesting farmers amidst the ongoing protests. Filing an affidavit before the Supreme Court, Kisan Mahapanchayat said that it is not part of the protesters blocking highways or restraining police personnel at the Delhi-NCR border.

“…the Petitioner Kisan Mahapanchyat, is neither the part of protestors, who have been stopped and restrained by the Police/ Security Personnel at any National Highway nor is the members of the Petitioner farmers body involved in any activity causing any permanent/temporary blockage on the movement on any road,” read the affidavit. 

The Kisan Mahapanchayat further stated that it parted ways with other farmer organizations after differences of opinions emerged on the manner of protests, especially after January 26 riots. 

The affidavit has been filed in the writ petition seeking permission to hold satyagraha at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.

“The Petitioner has approached the Delhi Police to stage peaceful Satyagrah after having difference of opinion regarding the subject matters, manner and mode of protests with other farmer’s body and separated their way after the Incident of 26th January 2021,” it said in the affidavit. 

It further stated that the union wanted to appear before the committee constituted by the Supreme Court for holding talks over the contentious farm laws, however, other farmers’ bodies refused to appear.

“The Petitioners, in fact made a statement before the Hon’ble Court on 12.01.2021 expressing their willingness to appear before the Committee constituted by this Hon’ble Court, while other farm bodies refused to appear,” read the affidavit further. 

They also informed that the Kisan Mahapanchayat has approached a High Court challenging the farm laws and seeking implementation of the Minimum Support Price for agriculture produce.

‘Now you want to come inside the city?‘: Supreme Court

Commenting on the petition seeking permission to hold yet another protest, a bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar remarked, “You have strangulated the entire city, now you want to come inside?” 

The petition was considered in another hearing today. Hearing the petition, the Bench questioned the intention to hold a ‘satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar in the national capital. 

Considering a petition has been filed challenging the validity of the Farm Laws, the Bench asked, “Where is the question of holding protest?” “..once you go to court and challenge executive action, how can the same party say that even if the matter is before the court I will still protest,” remarked Justice Khanwilkar further. 

The Court then asked advocate Ajay Choudhary representing Kisan Mahapanchayat to clarify the intent of the petition. 

“There’s no act in place at the moment as the act has been stayed by the court. The government has assured they won’t give effect to it, protest is for what?” questioned the Bench. To this, advocate Choudhary said that the Union of India has enacted a law. 

Slamming the advocate for filing a petition for two different reasons, the Bench observed, “..then you come to the law. You can’t do both, challenge law and then protest. You’ve asserted you’ve challenged the validity of the act, so we will decide the validity first. Where’s the question of protest?” 

The Supreme Court further said that it will determine if the right to protest is an “absolute right” and whether a sub-judice issue can be protested against on the streets.

Notice issued to 43 office bearers of farmer organizations

In another case pertaining to the farmers’ protest, the State of Haryana has moved an application before the Supreme Court seeking to implead 43 officer bearers of various farmers’ organizations in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Noida-resident Monicca Agarwal.

The petitioner had complained of delays in daily commute caused due to the road-blockade owing to the ongoing farmers’ protests. She stated that traveling to Delhi for her marketing job from Noida turned into a nightmare. The 20-minute commute allegedly took two hours due to the protests and road blockade. 

Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta on Thursday had apprised a Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M Sundresh that a High-Level Committee had been constituted to hold talks with the farmers on September 19, 2021, but the protesting organizations had refused to participate.

Owing to this, he had sought the Court’s leave to implead the protesting organizations as respondents in the matter. He was then directed to file an application to this effect. Reportedly, alleged farmer leaders such as Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav, Darshan Pal, Gurnam Singh among others have also been named in the impleadment application.

The Supreme Court announced issuing notice to the 43 office bearers of various farmer organizations.

The matter will be heard on October 20, 2021. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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