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Highlights: Police to decide who should enter Delhi, SC tells Centre on farmers' rally

Highlights: Police to decide who should enter Delhi, SC tells Centre on farmers' rally

Highlights: Police to decide who should enter Delhi, SC tells Centre on farmers' rally
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By CNBCTV18.com Jan 18, 2021 2:34:50 PM IST (Updated)

Here are the live updates from the SC hearing on New Farm Bills today:

SC LIVE Updates:

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The Supreme Court on Monday heard the pleas relating to controversial farm laws and the ongoing farmers' protest at Delhi borders. The top court also heard the plea of the Central government, filed though the Delhi Police, seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor march or any other kind of protest by farmers that seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations of Republic Day on January 26.

The 10th round of talks between the government and the protesting farmer unions is scheduled on January 19. On the same day, the Supreme Court-appointed committee to resolve the impasse will hold its first meeting.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi for over a month now against the three laws—the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act.
Enacted in September 2020, the government has presented these laws as major farm reforms aimed at increasing farmers' income, but the protesting farmers have raised concerns that these legislations would weaken the minimum support price (MSP) and "mandi" (wholesale market) systems and leave them at the mercy of big corporations.
The government has maintained that these apprehensions are misplaced and has ruled out a repeal of the laws.
Here are the live updates from the SC hearing on New Farm Bills today:
    SC tells Centre: We are not going to tell you what you should do. We will take up this matter on January 20.
    The Supreme Court says police is first authority to decide who should be allowed to enter Delhi.
    SC tells Centre: You have all authority to deal with this matter.
    The top court says it is a matter of law and order and will be determined by police.
  • CJI Bobde observes: We can't decide who gets to enter the city and who doesn't. Issue of processing farmers is an issue for the police to manage. Police may invoke all its powers to decide and see if farmers can be allowed inside. Allowing farmers inside the city is a law an order issue. The Centre does not need SC to remind it of its powers.
  • Supreme Court adjourns hearing of the Centre's plea seeking the restriction on the proposed tractor rally on Republic Day. SC to consider the Centre's application on January 20.
    • Farmer unions protesting against the Centre's agri laws on Sunday said that they will go ahead with their proposed tractor parade in Delhi on Republic Day.
    • Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border protest site, union leader Yogendra Yadav said, "We will carry out a tractor parade on the Outer Ring Road in Delhi on Republic Day. The parade will be very peaceful. There will be no disruption of the Republic Day parade. The farmers will put up the national flag on their tractors."
    • Another farmer union leader, Darshan Pal Singh, alleged that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is filing cases against those who are part of the protest or supporting it. "All farmer unions condemn this," Pal said, referring to the NIA summons reportedly issued to a farmer union leader in a case related to the banned Sikhs For Justice outfit.
    • The Supreme Court-appointed committee on the three new farm laws is scheduled to hold its first meeting on January 19 at Pusa campus in New Delhi, its member Anil Ghanwat said on Sunday. The Supreme Court had on January 11 stayed the implementation of the three laws, against which farmers are protesting at Delhi borders for over 50 days now, till further orders and appointed a four-member panel to resolve the impasse. Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann, however, recused himself from the committee last week. Apart from Ghanwat, agri-economists Ashok Gulati and Pramod Kumar Joshi are the other panel members. "We are meeting on January 19 at the Pusa campus. Only members will meet to decide the future course of action," Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra), told PTI. "One of the four members has backed out of the committee. If the apex court does not appoint a new member, the existing members will continue," he said.
    • In an "extraordinary" interim order on January 12, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde had stayed the implementation of the new farm laws till further orders and had constituted a four-member panel to listen to the grievances and make recommendations to resolve the impasse. The committee comprised Bhupinder Singh Mann, national president of Bhartiya Kisan Union; Dr Parmod Kumar Joshi, 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 of Shetkari Sanghatana.
    • The court had said it would hear the pleas against the farm laws after eight weeks when the committee would give its suggestions to resolve the impasse after talking to the protesters and the government.
    • The court's efforts seem to have hit a hurdle as Mann recused himself from the committee on January 14. A bench, also comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran, may take into account the issue of recusal of Mann from the committee and take remedial actions like appointing a person to replace him in the panel.
    • On Saturday, farmer union, Bhartiya Kisan Union Lokshakti, filed an affidavit requesting the top court to remove the remaining three members of the committee and select people who can do the job "on the basis of mutual harmony". The farmers' body said the principle of natural justice is going to be violated as those appointed to the four-member committee "have already supported these laws". It has also sought dismissal of a plea of the central government, filed though the Delhi Police, seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor march on January 26.
    • —With inputs from agencies
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