Making strong observations against the blockade of the roads due to farmers' agitation, the Supreme Court on Friday commented that protesters have strangulated the entire city and are now wanting to come within the city and start protest there again.
The Apex Court's comments came while considering a plea by Kisan Mahapanchayat, a farmers' body protesting against the three farm laws, seeking directions to authorities to allow it to stage Satyagrah(sit-in protest) at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. The Court expressed displeasure that some groups are holding protests after they have already challenged the farm laws before the Court.
"Are you protesting against the judicial system? Have faith in the system," told Justice AM Khanwilkar of the Bench comprising also of Justice CT Ravikumar, to the Counsel for the Kisan Mahapanchayat.
The Court said that citizens have equal rights to move freely and without fear of their properties being damaged in the protest. The court said, "there has to be some balanced approach".
The Bench, while adjourning the matter to October 4, asked the petitioner to file an affidavit declaring that they are not part of the protest, which is being carried out by blocking the national highways at the borders of the city.
The Bench commented that the protests have blocked the movement of not only the citizens but also of armed forces at the national capital. They should ask the common people whether they are happy with such protests, the Bench added.
The Kisan Mahapanchayat, which is a body of farmers and agriculturists, has filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking permission to hold protest at Jantar Mantar invoking their fundamental rights to do so. Alleging discrimination over an action of the authorities, the plea states that the permission has been granted to the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha, but denied to them.
Several farmer organisations are protesting against the passage of three laws -- The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.
Earlier, on Thursday, during the hearing of a petition filed by a resident of Noida, the Supreme Court expressed its displeasure over the blockade of roads. The Court had asked why highways have been blocked and when it will come to an end. The petition raised the issue of difficulty in daily commutation due to protests by farmers.
With PTI inputs