The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked protesting farmers to end their blockade as the court has stayed its operation and set up a committee to hear grievances of farmers.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and comprising Justices L N Rao and Vineet Saran said at the start of the hearing that it will not pass any order on the Centre’s plea against the proposed tractor rally or any other kind of protest by farmers on Republic Day. The court also asked the government to withdraw its plea.
The court came down heavily on farmer unions and so-called critics for “shredding the reputation of some of the brilliant minds in agriculture who were in the committee”.
“No one has any right to call the experts in the committee biased or prejudiced,” said CJI S A Bobde.
“And over and above cast aspersions on SC,” the court said.
They must desist from maligning experts just because they had some opinion in the past, the CJI said.
“If they do not want to appear before the committee it is their choice… whether to allow tractor rally or not, is solely within police domain and allows withdrawal of the application,” the court said.
With the court clearly laying out that it was a police matter, the Centre informed the court that it was withdrawing its application seeking an injunction against the tractor rally.
“You are the authority and have to deal with it. Not for the court to pass orders,” the bench told the Centre.
Earlier, during the hearing, an advocate appearing for Kisan Mahapanchayat told the court that an application has been filed on their behalf to reconstitute the apex court-appointed committee after one member had recused from it.