New Delhi: The Supreme Court has observed that the issue of challenge to three farm laws (now repealed) is not an "ongoing issue" and asked Kisan Mahapanchayat which had sought permission to allow Satyagraha at Jantar Mantar in the national capital to protest against the laws, why it wants to continue with the case.
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh, while hearing the case, told the counsel appearing for Kisan Mahapanchayat that this case has become infructuous and nothing is left in the case.
On November 19, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of the three contentious farm laws, after thousands of farmers camped at Delhi border points in a protest since November 2020.
In 2021 Kisan Mahapanchayat, a farmers' body, had filed the plea before the top court seeking direction to allow it to hold Satyagraha at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
The Kisan Mahapanchayat is a body of agricultural community and farmers which was protesting against the three farm laws.
Hearing the case on Friday, Justice Joseph asked counsel of Kisan Mahapanchayat, "Matter has become infructuous. What is there in it now? Jantar Mantar issue. We can't debate ontheoretical issues. Can't waste Court's time."
"My right to protest is still affected in this petition," counsel of farmers' body told the bench. To this, the bench observed that this is not an ongoing issue and the petitioner can approach the court if need arises.
When the petition was filed, there was a context to it but now there is no cause of action, it added.
However, the farmers' body said that it still want to protest with regard to MSP and other issues.
The bench then asked the counsel appearing for the Centre to get instructions in the case. The apex court now posted the matter for hearing in October.
Last year, a bench headed by Justice AM Khawnilkar (now retired) had decided to examine the issue whether the farmers who have challenged the three farm laws in the court have the right to protest when the issue is sub-judice.
We will decide if right to protest is an "absolute right", the top court had said while expressing its disapproval towards holding of protests when petitions challenging the farm laws are already pending before the Constitutional Court.
"We have to decide the legal question on when you have approached courts, then how can you protest on the same issue,' the it had said.
It had pulled up Kisan Mahapanchayat for approaching the court and continuing with the protests at the same time by blocking the nation highways in Delhi-NCR and said that protesting farmers have "strangulated" the entire city now want to come inside the city.
The Supreme Court on January 12, 2021 had stayed the implementation of the contentious farm laws till further orders and constituted a four-member committee to make recommendations to resolve the impasse over them between the Centre and farmers' unions who were protesting at Delhi borders.
Kisan Mahapanchayat had moved the top court seeking directions to the the authorities to allow it to stage peaceful and non violent 'Satyagraha' at Jantar Mantar, Delhi.
It had sought direction to the Central Government, Lieutenant Governor and Commissioner of Delhi Police to provide space to at least 200 farmers or protestors of the Mahapanchayat at Jantar Mantar for organising 'Satyagraha' and to not stop them from proceeding towards Jantar Mantar.
Denying the permission of holding 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, said Kisan Mahapanchayat.
It had 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 Satyagraha....