New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) Attorney General K.K. Venugopal on Monday vehemently opposed the Supreme Court’s insistence to put the implementation of the farm laws on hold. The A-G said more than 2,000 farmers have entered into contract under the laws and a stay will lead to heavy losses for them.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian told the A-G, “If laws are put on hold, negotiations will be much better.”

The A-G passionately argued the laws came into effect in June last year by way of an ordinance and since then more than 2,000 farmers have entered into contracts with traders under these laws for selling their produce.

“If the court stays the implementation, they will lose heavily,” said the A-G. He further emphasised that the decision to stay the laws will cause tremendous losses to these farmers and contended that staying the implementation of the laws is similar to staying the law itself.

He also cited issues with the top court’s suggestion to form a committee to examine the farm laws. He said when the farmers go before this proposed committee, will their only demand be that the laws should be repealed? If they are not prepared to tell their exact grievances, the committee will not be useful.

“They must tell the committee their grievances item by item. Then the committee will decide item by item,” said the A-G. The Chief Justice replied that the court trusts senior lawyers – Dushyant Dave, Prashant Bhushan, Colin Gonsalves and H.S. Phoolka – to communicate to the farmers the real purpose of this committee. “We are not creating an alternate forum,” said the Chief Justice.

The bench also pointed out to the A-G that it is aware of the subtle distinction between staying the legislation in toto and staying implementation of the law. The A-G insisted that the court should not be in a hurry to stay the laws. The Chief Justice rebutted, “Don’t lecture us on patience.”

The A-G also insisted Dave to come on record that farmer unions will not take out a tractor rally on Republic Day in the national capital. Initially, Dave said the farmers will not do it, but later he said he is not going to make any statement without consulting the farmers. The A-G told the top court to direct them not to do any such thing, if they want consideration from the court.

Dave said farmers will not do this, as many of their family members are in the armed forces and they respect the Republic Day. The A-G reiterated that Dave’s statement on no tractor rally should be recorded.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged the bench to pass an injunction to restrain protesters attempting to disrupt Republic Day celebrations. The bench asked Mehta to file an application in this matter. Mehta added some harsh observations have been made regarding handling of the incidents. The Chief Justice replied that was the most innocuous factual thing for the court to say. The bench said it may pass part order today or pass orders on Tuesday.


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