The Supreme Court has expressed strong displeasure over the aspersions cast by some farmers’ unions on members of the court-appointed committee to resolve the impasse over new farm laws and said it has not given any adjudicating authority to the panel.
Protesters and several opposition parties had raised objections saying the four members of the panel were in favour of the legislations. One of the members – Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann – last week had recused himself from the committee.
The Centre, meanwhile, withdrew its petition seeking injunction against the proposed tractor rally by farmers on the Republic Day after the apex court said it was police matter.
On the issue pertaining to the committee, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it had appointed experts in the panel as the judges are not experts on the subject.
Controversy had erupted after the apex court appointed the four-member committee as some of the members had earlier reportedly expressed their views and favoured the contentious farm laws, following which one of the members had recused himself.
“Where is the question of bias in this? We have not given adjudicating powers to the committee. You don’t want to appear is understandable, but casting aspersions on someone because he expressed his view is not done. You don’t need to brand anybody like this,” said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
“Everyone should have an opinion. Even judges have opinion. This has become a cultural thing. Branding people which you do not want has become a norm. We have not given any power of adjudication to the committee,” the bench said.
During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, the Centre withdrew its plea seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally on January 26 by farmers protesting against the new farms laws after the top court said “it is a police matter”.
The police has the “authority” to deal with the issue pertaining to the proposed tractor march in Delhi on the Republic Day, the bench said.
“We have told you that we will not issue any direction. It is a police matter. We will allow you to withdraw. You are the authority and you have to deal with it. You have the powers to pass orders, you do it. It is not for the court to pass orders,” the bench said.
After the observation of the apex court, the Centre withdrew the plea filed through Delhi Police seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor or trolley march or any other kind of protest which seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations of the Republic Day.