Two days ahead of the Supreme Court's hearing on the farmers' agitation, a farmers' union on Saturday filed an affidavit to remove the panel set up by it on Tuesday to resolve the impasse over three contentious farm laws and selected the impartial persons who can do the job on "the basis of mutual harmony."
The Bhartiya Kisan Union - Lokshakti (BKU-L), which is part of the Kisan Ekta Morcha heading 40 farmers unions holding protests at Delhi borders for the 52nd day, filed an affidavit stressing that the principle of natural justice has been ignored in selecting members of the panel who have "already supported these laws."
While BKU's national president Bhupinder Singh Mann has already recused from the panel, stating that he cannot go against Punjab and its farmers agitating against the laws, the BKU-L pleaded that its other three members should also be dropped as they have openly supported the farm laws.
In an extraordinary interim order, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde had on Tuesday implementation of the farm laws till further orders and set up the 4-member panel to listen to the grievances and make recommendations to the court to resolve the deadlock persisting despite many round of talks between the government and the farmers.
The Bench has fixed a hearing on January 18 on the Centre's plea to prevent the farmers' tractor rally on the Republic Day on January 26. It may take up hearing of the petition to constitute a new panel.
The BKU-L has pleaded through a petition filed by lawyer A P Singh on its behalf that the Court "remove the remaining three members of the committee and appoint those who make the report on the basis of mutual harmony."
"It is important to mention here with great regret that the principle of natural justice is going to be violated by making these persons as members of the committee.... how they will hear all farmers on equal parameters when they have already supported these laws,” the petition said.
On the issue of Delhi Police seeking injunction against the farmers' proposed tractor rally, the Centre has pleaded that no such an act can be allowed since the entire New Delhi area has been already put under the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC.