Business Standard

Farm agitation: SC to see if protest allowed when matter is sub judice


The Supreme Court Monday said it would examine if organisati­ons or individual­s who have moved Constituti­onal court challengin­g the validity of a legislatio­n are permitted to hold protest on the same issue when the matter is sub judice.

While hearing a plea filed by a farmers' body which is protesting against the three new farm laws and is seeking directions to authoritie­s to allow it to stage ‘satyagrah' at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the apex court asked what are they protesting for when it has already stayed these legislatio­ns. A Bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar also asked the organisati­on, which has already challenged the validity of the three laws before the Rajasthan High Court, why they want to hold protest when they are “not in force at all”.

“You want to go for protest. Protest on what? There is no Act in place at the moment. It is stayed by this court. The government has assured that they will not give effect to it, then protest for what,” the court observed.

The Bench asked Attorney General K K Venugopal that once a party has approached the court challengin­g the validity of the Act, then where is the question of going for protest.

“They can't ride two horses at the same time,” said Venugopal and also referred to the “unfortunat­e” incident at Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday in which eight people were killed in the violence that erupted during a farmers' protest.

The Bench said when such incidents happen, nobody takes the responsibi­lity.

When the top law officer contended that the protest should stop, the Bench said nobody takes the responsibi­lity when there is damage to property and physical damage is caused.

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