The Supreme Court on Monday (October 12) issued notice to the Centre, seeking response on a petition challenging the three agricultural laws passed by Parliament and approved by President’s Ram Nath Kovind.
Rakesh Vaishnav, who represents Chhattisgarh Kisan Congress, has moved the court against these laws being opposed by a large number of farmers across the country who allege the MSP regime was under threat and that they were being forced to be subservient to big corporates in the absence of any government protection.
The three-judge bench of chief justice of India SA Bobde, AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notice and asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to file the response.
The court noted that no cause of action has so far arisen but Vaishnav’s lawyer P Parmeswaran argued that his client had earlier approached the Chhattisgarh High Court challenging the ordinance. He requested the Supreme Court to strike down the new farm laws claiming that they surreptitiously repealed local laws in the state.
The bench said, “We will issue notice as this issue is bound to arise somewhere or other.”
Four petitions were listed before the court on this issue. For this case, along with AG, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and ASG KM Natraj appeared.
The three laws passed by Parliament are: Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Agriculture and Promotion) Act, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly accused the Opposition, especially the Congress, of giving hollow slogans in the name of farmers for many decades and that his government made “history by increasing the MSP for farmers.”
“Hollow slogans were given in favour of farmers, labourers for many decades since Independence. Governments were formed in the name of farmers, workers but all they got was jumbled web of promises, laws, which farmers or labourers could never understand,” said the PM. “But our government has constantly tried to change this situation and has introduced reforms for the welfare of farmers.”
He said in the last few years, the NDA government made efforts to connect farmers with banks. “Over Rs 1 lakh crore were transferred to over 10 crore farmers under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. Our effort was to provide KISAN credit cards to more and more farmers so they can avail of loans easily,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the agricultural reforms would benefit small and marginal farmers the most. “Small, marginal farmers, who are 86 per cent, will benefit the most from agriculture reforms.”
PM Modi also asked the party workers to take the message of agricultural reforms and their benefits to farmers, saying BJP workers’ conduct should be in line with expectations, aspirations of India of the 21st century.