SC notice to farmer leaders, groups on plea against road blocks

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to over 40 farmer leaders and various farmers organisations, who are protesting against the three farm laws, at various Delhi-NCR borders.

The Haryana government had filed an application to implead the farmer leaders and groups as additional respondents in a plea filed by a Noida resident against the road blockade by farmer groups.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh issued notice on Haryana’s application on adding new respondents to the matter.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Haryana government, said that the state had set up a committee to hold talks, but the protesters’ leaders refused to attend to meet it.

As he sought notice be issued so that the leaders don’t say that they had no reason to come, the bench agreed.

Farmer leaders like Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav, Darshan Pal, Gurnam Singh etc are among those persons added as respondents by the Haryana government. The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on October 20.

On September 30, the Supreme Court had emphasised that roads cannot remain blocked perpetually and asked the Centre, what steps has it taken to remove the road blockade by farmers, protesting against three agriculture laws, at Delhi borders.

A bench headed by Justice Kaul had told Centre’s counsel: “We have already laid down the law and you have to implement it. If we encroach, then you may say that we have trespassed on your domain.”

“How to implement the law is your business. The court has no means to implement it.”

The top court said there are grievances, which need to be addressed but queried: “How can highways be blocked perpetually? Where does it end?” It emphasised the problem could be solved through either judicial forum or parliamentary debates, but highways can’t be blocked perpetually.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Monicca Agarwaal seeking directions to remove road blockades, which impedes free movement of traffic between Delhi and Noida. The petitioner had alleged that instead of the normal 20 minutes, she ends up spending two hours for her travel from Noida to Delhi.