The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to 43 groups and leaders of farmers' protest, including Rakesh Tikait, Darshan Pal and Gurnam Singh on the Haryana Government's plea alleging that they have not been participating in talks with its panel to resolve the impasse over road blockade.

State of Haryana has moved the application in the pending PIL filed by a Noida-resident Monicca Agrawaal, who has sought removal of blockade saying that it takes two hours to reach Delhi when it only took 20 minutes earlier and that the people of the area are facing hardships due to protests at the UP Gate, on Delhi border.

A bench comprising Justice S K Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh issued notice through messenger.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Haryana Government said that the farm leaders are necessary parties in the matter and that he will ensure serving of notice on them. Tushar Mehta sought a hearing of the plea on October 8. The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on October 20.

The state of Haryana had set up a panel for holding talks with the protesting farm leaders who have refused to take part in talks intended to resolve the issue.

Haryana, in its plea, said that the state-level panel was set up by it on September 15, 2021 to hold discussions with the farmers' bodies, but they refused to come forward for the talks.

The Bench had in an earlier hearing posed a question whether the highways can be blocked perpetually. "The redressal of problems can be through judicial forum, agitation or through Parliamentary debates. But how can the highways be blocked and this is happening perpetually. Where does this end?", it had asked.

On August 23, the Supreme Court had said that the Centre and Delhi's neighboring states should find a solution to road blockades on the national capital's borders due to farmers' protests. The Court had observed that though farmers have the right to protest at the designated places, traffic cannot be disrupted.

Last week, a separate Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice CT Ravikumar had made strong remarks in a plea seeking permission to hold farmers' protest at Jantar Mantar. The Bench had observed that the protests had strangulated the entire city and that a balanced approach is needed in the matter.

With PTI inputs