New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday acknowledged the right of farmers to non-violent protests and suggested the Centre to put on hold the implementation of three contentious agri laws as it was thinking of setting up an “impartial and independent” panel of agriculture experts and farmer unions to resolve the impasse. The apex court was also of the view that the farmers’ right to protest should not infringe the fundamental rights of others to move freely and in getting essential food and other supplies as right to protest cannot mean blockade of the entire city. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it would pass order on constituting a committee only after hearing all the parties including the protesting farmer unions and putting on hold the implementation of new farm laws by the Centre would enable negotiations with farmers. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who is leading the government side in the negotiations, said the ongoing agitation at Delhi’s borders is limited to one state and farmers of Punjab are being “misled” by the Opposition. He, however, expressed hope that there will be a solution “soon” to the ongoing impasse. Protesting farmer unions said constituting a new panel to break the stalemate on the three new agriculture laws is not a solution as they want a complete withdrawal of the farm legislation. They also said the government should have formed a committee of farmers and others before the laws were enacted by Parliament. Also Read - Women Take Over Protests For a Day to Mark 'Women Farmers' Day' Amid Ongoing Agitation
Follow latest updates on the ongoing protests:
21.40 PM: A farmer in Mayapuri village destroyed his cauliflower crop as he was getting only Re 1/kg for them. Also Read - Breaking News January 19 LIVE: Sensex Zooms Nearly 700 Points; Nifty Tops 14,450
21.00 PM: A 60-year-old man reaches Tikri at Delhi-Haryana border from Bihar on a bicycle to participate in farmers’ protest.
20.30PM: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has expressed his feelings by writing a letter to the farmer brothers & sisters, trying to have a polite dialogue. I request all Annadatas to read it. I also urge countrymen to make it reach to as many people as possible: PM Narendra Modi
19.10 PM: The Supreme Court says it will not interfere with the farmers’ protest against Centre’s three laws. “We’re of the view at this stage that the farmers’ protest should be allowed to continue without impediment & without any breach of peace either by the protesters or police,” it says.
18.30 PM: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has written an eight-page letter to the farmers, urging them not to believe in any kind of rumours.
18.00 PM: In our committee today, we took a decision about the case in the Supreme Court. We’ll consult with four senior SC lawyers – Prashant Bhushan, Dushyant Dave, HS Phoolka and Colin Gonsalves: National Coordinator of Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh KV Biju at Singhu border
17.45 PM: AAP MLAs raise slogans against Centre’s three farm laws during a special session of Delhi Assembly and tear copies of the laws.
17.30 PM: Union Home Minister Amit Shah leaves BJP headquarters after attending a meeting with party general secretaries on farmers’ agitation.
17.15 PM: Supreme Court must direct the govt to put these three laws on hold & to immediately call parliament session to repeal these laws. After that, a committee can be formed for other things like MSP: Ashok Dhawale, All India Kisan Sabha
17.00 PM: Delhi Assembly today rejected all three farm laws and we have appealed Central govt that it should take back these black laws. More than 20 farmers have died during 20 days of protest. On average, one farmer is getting martyred daily in this movement, says Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
16.30 PM: “What was the hurry to get Farm Laws passed in Parliament during pandemic? It has happened for the first time that three laws were passed without voting in Rajya Sabha…I hereby tear the copies of these laws in this assembly and appeal to Centre not to become worst than Britishers,” says CM Arvind Kejriwal in one-day special session of Delhi assembly.
16.15 PM: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a special session of Delhi Assembly called to discuss farmers’ agitation.
16.00 PM: A salon owner provides free services to the protesting farmers at Singhu border.
15.45 PM: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal reach BJP headquarters to attend a meeting with party general secretaries to discuss farmers’ agitation.
15.30 PM: Protesting farmers at Tikri border (Haryana-Delhi border) say they’re ready for more talks with government but won’t give up protest.
15.15 PM: AAP MLA Mahendra Goyal tears copy of Centre’s Farm Laws during a special Delhi assembly session called to discuss farmers’ agitation.
14.22 PM: Farm Laws Case in Supreme Court
Centre tells Supreme Court that if the implementation of farm laws is put on hold, farmers will not come forward for negotiations.
“What kind of executive action? Farmers will not come for discussion if this happens,” says AG Venugopal.
14.01 PM: Farm Laws Case in Supreme Court
Supreme Court asks Centre to explore the possibility of putting legislations on hold. Supreme Court asks the Attorney General if the government can assure the Court that it will not take any executive action on implementation of the law till the court hears the matter.
13.59 PM: Top Court to Serve Notice to Protesting Farmers, Case to be Heard Before Vacation Bench
Chief Justice SA Bobde says that a notice has to go all protesting farmers’ bodies, He suggests that a case should be placed before a vacation bench of the top court during winter break.
In response, Attorney General says the notice has to be served to all the farmers’ representatives who have been part of the government talks so far.
13.44 PM: Supreme Court Hearing on Farm Laws
“We are also Indian, we’re familiar with the plight of farmers and are sympathetic to their cause. You (farmers) have to only alter the way the protest is going. We will ensure you can plead your case & thus we are thinking of forming a committee,” says CJI in the farm laws matter.
13.36 PM: Supreme Court Hearing on Farm Laws
Many farmers are from Punjab. The State has no objection to the Court’s suggestion that a group of people can facilitate dialogue between farmers & Centre. It is for farmers & Centre to decide who’ll be on the committee, says AG Venugopal.
13.34 PM: Supreme Court Hearing on Farm Laws
“None of them wears a face mask, they sit together in large numbers. COVID-19 is a concern, they will visit villages and spread it there. Farmers cannot violate the fundamental rights of others,” said Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the Centre.
13.30 PM: Supreme Court Hearing on Farm Laws
“The committee will give a finding which should be followed. The protest can go on in the meanwhile,” says CJI and suggests, “The independent committee can have P Sainath, Bhartiya Kisan Union and others as members.”
“You (farmers) cannot instigate violence and cannot block a city like this,” adds CJI.
13.27 PM: Supreme Court Hearing on Farm Laws
“A protest is constitutional till it does not destroy property or endanger life. Centre and farmers have to talk; We are thinking of an impartial and independent committee before whom both parties can give its side of story,” says CJI.
12.36 PM: PM Modi to Address Madhya Pradesh Farmers Amid Protest in Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing farmers in Madhya Pradesh on Friday amid the ongoing protests by farmer unions in Delhi.
12.36 PM: Two Farmers Dead in 2 Days, Kisan Leaders Say Will Make a Full List of Deaths During Protest
An Indian Express report stated that there have not been just two, but several deaths at Tikri border near Delhi during the farmers’ protest that has lasted for three weeks.
On December 2, two farmers, Gurjant Singh (45) and Lakhvir Singh (55), died after falling sick at the border. In other incidents, at least eight farmers have died in road accidents near the borders. This is barring the death of Sant Baba Ram Singh by suicide near Delhi’s Singhu border.
12.15 PM: Parliament Session Cancelled to Evade Discussion on Key Issues, Says Sena
Criticising the Centre’s decision not to hold the winter session of Parliament, the Shiv Sena on Thursday claimed the Union government wants to evade discussion on issues like the ongoing farmers’ protest, country’s economic situation and border standoff with China.
“What democratic practice is this? The country will remain alive only if voices from the opposition benches are strong in a democracy. The democratic traditions in Parliament inspire the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must follow these traditions,” the party criticised in an editorial in its mouthpiece magazine ‘Saamana’.
12.15 PM: Traffic has been disrupted on several key routes in Delhi as farmers stay put at border points.
12.05 PM: In the wake of the directions given by Supreme Court yesterday regarding the formation of a committee to resolve farmers’ bill impasse, we have written to Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal for giving due representation in the proposed panel, says Confederation of All India Traders.
10.55 AM: Farmer Reportedly Dies of Cold at Tikri Border Near Delhi
A farmer from Bathinda in Punjab, protesting near Delhi-Haryana Tikri border, on Thursday died, allegedly because of cold.
10.55 AM: Farmer unions hold a meeting at Singhu border ahead of Supreme Court hearing.
Thousands of farmers have been camping at several Delhi border points for 21 days on the trot, causing the closure of several routes around the national capital. They have demanded a written guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) from the Centre that prevents them from being submerged by big corporates.