India / You have strangulated Delhi, blocked national highways and trains: SC to farmers

Zoom News : Oct 01, 2021, 12:43 PM
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday admonished a farmers' group for choking the national capital by staging sit-protests on highways against the three farm laws.

The apex court said the farmers have blocked not only the movement of people but the armed forces as well.

The rebuke came after Kisan Mahapanchayat moved the court seeking permission to enter Delhi to stage a protest at Jantar Mantar.

The Kisan Mahapanchayat is a body of agricultural community and farmers which is protesting against the three farm laws.

"You cannot come to the court and at the same time continue with the protest. Are you protesting against the judicial system," the SC asked.

The SC bench led by Justice A M Khanwilkar said protests have strangulated traffic to and from Delhi.

"Every citizen has the right to free movement. You have stopped the business. Have you asked the residents around the protest points whether they are happy with the protests," it asked.

On Kisan Mahapanchayat's plea seeking permission to stage a peaceful and non-violent 'Satyagraha' at Jantar Mantar, the apex court said, "You have strangulated Delhi by holding sit-in protests on highways ... even blocked movement of armed forces and jeered them. Now you want to come inside the city and create chaos?"

The top court sought direction from the Centre, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Commissioner of Delhi Police to provide space.

The Kisan Mahapanchayat said that denying permission to hold peaceful, unarmed and non-violent Satyagraha at the designated place at Jantar Mantar is in violation of the basic democratic rights enunciated as fundamental rights under the Constitution of India.

It said that the action of authorities is "discriminatory and arbitrary" as permission to protest has been granted to another farmer body, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, while denying them to organise staggered Satyagrah.

The court asked Kisan Mahapanchayat to submit an affidavit that they are not part of farmers' protest blocking the highways by Monday.

It agreed to hear their plea once such an affidavit is filed and asked the organisation to furnish a copy of the petition to attorney general K K Venugopal.

Earlier on Thursday, the apex court reiterated its objections to the blockade of highways by farmers as part of their protest against the three contentious farm laws. The SC yesterday asked the Centre as to "how can highways be blocked perpetually?" and "where does it end?"

The SC's observations came while hearing a plea by a Noida resident about the difficulty being faced by her for commuting due to the road blockade by farmers. While the Haryana government, which is a co-respondent in the case along with the Centre, the government of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and the Delhi government, filed an affidavit saying it is making "sincere efforts" to end the blockade, the UP government informed the court that it is requesting farmers to clear the area.