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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

‘How can highways be perpetually blocked?’: Supreme Court on farmers’ stir at Delhi border

The top court said redressal can be through judicial form, agitation, or parliamentary debates.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 1, 2021 5:37:34 am
Farmers sit in protest at the Gazipur Delhi Border. (Express Archive)

The Supreme Court on Thursday took a grim view of the continuing blockade of highways connecting the national capital to the neighbouring states by farmers protesting against the farm laws, saying the roads cannot be blocked perpetually.

“Redressal can be through judicial form, agitation, or parliamentary debates. But how can highways be blocked and this happen perpetually? Where does it end?”, Justices S K Kaul, who was heading a two-judge bench, remarked while hearing a plea by a Noida resident alleging hardships to commuters due to the ongoing protests.

The bench, also comprising Justice M M Sundresh, sought to know what the government was doing to get the roads open for traffic. “We have laid down a law but how to implement it is your business. The court has no means to implement it. It is the duty of the executive to implement it,” Justice Kaul said.

He added that if the court directed something on the matter, then it would be said that the judiciary has trespassed into the executive’s domain.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that a three-member high-level committee was formed and the farmers were invited to speak but they refused to join.

The blockade at the Gazipur border. (Express Archive)

The SG added that the petitioner should join the representatives of the farmers’ bodies in the matter so that they will not say later that they are not parties.

The bench told Mehta that he will have to move the application as the petitioner would not know the persons representing the farmers.

“Mr Mehta, you have to move the application for impleadment. How will the petitioner know who the leaders are? You move an application saying what you have done and how impleadment of some parties will help in resolution of the dispute,” the bench stated.

The SG agreed to do this following which the court adjourned the matter till October 4.

The court was hearing a plea by a Noida-based Monicca Agarwaal who said that her commute to Delhi, which used to take her 20 minutes, now takes two hours owing to the ongoing blockade.

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