The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of Centre's contentious three new farm laws till further orders and decided to set up a four-member committee to resolve the deadlock between the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and farmers' unions protesting at Delhi borders.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian observed that the negotiations between the farmers' bodies and the government have not yielded any result so far. "Therefore, we are of the view that the constitution of a committee of experts in the field of agriculture to negotiate between the farmers' bodies and the government of India may create a congenial atmosphere," it said in its order.
Justifying the stay on implementation of farm laws, the top court said: "We deem it fit to pass the following interim order, with the hope and expectation that both parties will take this in the right spirit and attempt to arrive at a fair, equitable and just solution to the problems."
The bench added this step would improve the trust and confidence of the farmers. "We are also of the view that a stay of implementation of all the three farm laws for the present, may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith," it said, reiterating that it has no intention to stifle a peaceful protest.
The committee comprises four members: Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President, Bhartiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan Coordination Committee; Dr. Parmod Kumar Joshi, Agricultural Economist, and Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute; Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist and former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices; and Anil Ghanwat, President, Shetkari Sanghatana.
Meanwhile, the farmers' unions has said that they "won't accept any committee formed by the Supreme Court for mediation" and the "agitation will go on as usual".
"We'd issued a press note last night stating that we won't accept any committee formed by Supreme Court for mediation. We were confident that Centre will get a committee formed through Supreme Court to take the burden off their shoulders," said Krantikari Kisan Union chief, Darshan Pal.
"We had said yesterday itself that we won't appear before any such committee. Our agitation will go on as usual. All the members of this Committee are pro-govt and had been justifying the laws of the Government," said Balbir Singh Rajewal, Bhartiya Kisan Union (R).
(With IANS inputs)