New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday conveyed its annoyance over farmers agitating on Delhi’s borders against farm laws since last November and asked the government as to "how can highways be blocked perpetually."
On August 23, it had directed the Centre and Delhi's neighbouring states to find a solution to road blockades. On Thursday, a Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M M Sundresh underscored that it is the government's duty to implement the law as laid down by the court.
It asked the Centre to file a formal application, on a plea by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, seeking to make the farmers' unions party to the plea to open the road blockade.
He said a 3-member committee was formed at the highest level to address the grievances, but the farmers' representative rejected the invite to join the discussions. Mehta promised to submit the application within 24 hours.
The court said: "The redressal of problems can be through judicial forum, agitation or through Parliamentary debates. But how can the highways be blocked, and this is happening perpetually. Where does this end?"
It was hearing a plea of Noida resident Monicca Agrawaal seeking removal of the blockade because of which it takes her over two hours to reach Delhi, instead of 20 minutes earlier.
When additional solicitor general K M Nataraj, appearing for the Centre, said details of a meeting with the protesting farmers have been filed in an affidavit, the Bench said: "We may lay down a law but how to implement the law is your business. The court cannot implement it. It is the executive which must implement it."
It rued: "When we lay down the law, you will say it is encroachment and we trespassed into the domain of the executive. This has ramifications but there are also grievances which need to be addressed. This cannot be a perpetual problem."
In the last hearing on August 23, the top court had said the farmers have the right to protest but at designated places and the inflow and outflow of the traffic cannot be disrupted. On March 26, the court had also issued notices to Uttar Pradesh and Haryana government on the plea.
Initially, the protests started in Punjab in September last year but later spread to Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and some other parts of the country.
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