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'Very disappointed': Supreme Court says upset at maligning of farm laws panel

BusinessToday.In     January 20, 2021

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice on a plea filed by the Kisan Mahapanchayat that asked for reconstitution of the farm laws panel formed to assist the apex court in the case pertaining to farmers' protests. The court said that it was disappointed with what has been appearing in the press and said that the Supreme Court does not want to be subject of maligning. The advocate appearing for Kisan Mahapanchayat told the court that an application to reconstitute the committee has been filed on behalf of the farmers.

"Your demand is to change the committee. What are you basing that on? These people are the brightest minds in agriculture today. They have expertise that their critics do not have and you are maligning them," Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said.

CJI Bobde further said, "Public opinion is important but it is not determinative for the court. If you can muster public opinion that can malign someone that doesn't mean it will affect the court." "We have serious objection to our appointed committee members being called names. We want the committee to tell us what clauses have a problem. We don't want experts to be subject of the maligning. I am very disappointed to see what's been appearing in the press," he said during the hearing.

Another union Bhartiya Kisan Union Lokshakti had earlier urged the Supreme Court to reconstitute the panel after Bhupinder Singh Mann, national president of Bhartiya Kisan Union had recused himself from the panel. The union had asked the court to remove rest of the three members too. "It is important to mention here with great regret that the principle of natural justice is going to be violated by making these persons as members of the committee... how they will hear all farmers on equal parameters when they have already supported these laws," it said.

The four-member farm laws panel 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, on Wednesday, asked the Centre to withdraw its plea against the proposed tractor rally by farmers on Republic Day. It added that it would not pass any orders against the rally and that Delhi Police has all the powers to pass orders against the march.

Also read: Farmer union asks SC to remove members of committee on farm laws, select new people

Also read: Farmers' protest: SC stays implementation of farm laws until further orders

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