The Supreme Court on Tuesday formed a committee of agriculture experts to take over negotiations between the government and farmer unions. The top court also stayed the implementation of three laws deregulating India’s agriculture markets, saying it will give further orders. Also Read - Centre-Farmers Meet Ends in Deadlock, Govt Says No More Talks if Protesters Don’t Accept Offer to Stay Laws
“These are matters of life and death. We are concerned with laws. We are concerned with lives and property of people affected by the agitation. We are trying to solve the problem in the best way. One of the powers we have is to suspend the legislation,” Chief Justice SA Bobde said, according to NDTV.com. Also Read - UPSC Prelims: Will Aspirants Get an Extra Attempt? Check Central Govt's Decision
“This is not politics. There is a difference between politics and judiciary and you will have to cooperate,” the bench, headed by Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI about the government. Also Read - Complete Withdrawal: Farmer Unions Reject Government Proposal To Put Laws On Hold for 18 Months
The 4-member committee formed by the Supreme Court include:
1) Bitender Singh Maan, President BKU
2) Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi, International policy head
3) Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist
4) Anil Dhanvat, Shivkeri Sangathna, Maharashtra
All You Need To Know About The Committee Members:
Bhupinder Singh Mann:
Bhupinder Singh Mann was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1990 for his contribution to the struggle of farmers. He remained a member of the Upper House for six years until 1996. He was born in Gujranwala (now in Pakistan). He is currently the president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU). He is also chairman of All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC). The members of AIKCC had met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in December last year and submitted a memorandum supporting the farm laws with some amendments.
Pramod Kumar Joshi:
Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi is a known name in the field of agriculture research. Born in Uttarakhand’s Almora in 1953, Joshi had earlier served as the director of the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad, and the director of the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research in New Delhi.
Superannuated Director (South Asia) of International Food Policy Research Institute, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi is a renowned agri scientist. Joshi had also held the position of Director (South Asia) at the International Food Policy Research Institute in New Delhi. He was appointed as Director in 2012.
Ashok Gulati is an eminent agricultural economist and a professor for Agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). He is also a former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), Government of India (2011-14).
According to the reports, Gulati is a strong supporter of Agri laws. In one of his articles, Dr Ashok Gulati wrote that the farm laws are a step in the right direction. He argued that the reforms will help in improving price realisation for the farmers.
He was the youngest member of the Economic Advisory Council of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and member of the State Planning Board of Karnataka.
Anil Ghanwat of the Shetkar Sanghatan founded by late Sharad Joshi had been openly supporting Center’s farm laws. He is currently the president of the the organization. Shetkar Sanghatan is a Maharashtra-based union that was founded by the legendary farm leader Sharad Joshi.
The body was also amongst the group of farmers’ union that had met Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to express support for the farm laws against which thousands of farmers are protesting at the borders of Delhi.