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Farmers' issues serious, don't file trivial petitions: SC

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
March 04, 2024 17:47 IST
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Issues related to farmers' protests are "serious", the Supreme Court said on Monday and asked a litigant to desist from filing petitions based only on newspaper reports for publicity.

IMAGE: Farmers, who are marching to Delhi, run for cover amidst tear gas fired by the police to disperse them at the Shambhu barrier, a border crossing between Punjab and Haryana, February 21, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan, allowed petitioner Agnostos Theos, the managing director of the Sikh Chamber of Commerce, to withdraw his plea that alleged violation of the rights of the "peacefully protesting" farmers by the Centre and some states.


A request for withdrawal of the plea was made at the very start of the hearing by a counsel for Theos who said he intended to amend the petition.

"These are very serious issues. Don't file these petitions based only on newspaper reports for publicity purposes. Only those persons who are serious and committed should file these petitions. If you have gone through the newspaper reports, then you must be aware that the high court is seized of the matter," Justice Kant told the counsel.

The bench said the petitioner must know that the high court has already passed certain directions on the issue.

"Next time be careful. Do your own research, these are complex issues," the bench told the counsel and allowed him to withdraw the petition.

Theos claimed in his plea that the Centre and some states have issued "threats" and fortified the national capital's borders after several farmer unions called protests seeking legal guarantee for minimum support price for their crops and implementation of the Swaminathan committee's recommendations.

"The petitioner is seeking a writ of mandamus in the interest of the farmers who are facing unfair treatment in their peaceful protests," it said.

It claimed some protesters were arrested and forcibly detained by various state governments, and the Centre unduly invoked prohibitory measures, including blocking social media accounts, rerouting traffic and blocking roads.

It alleged the governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have employed "aggressive and violent measures", like using tear gas, rubber bullets and pellets against the farmers, causing them serious injuries.

In the absence of medical aid, the injuries got aggravated and also caused deaths, the plea claimed, adding fortifications at Delhi's borders have created a "hostile and violent situation", and did not allow the farmers to exercise their democratic right to protest.

The plea sought a direction to the Centre, the four states and the National Human Rights Commission to "consider the reasonable demands of the farmers from across India, who are in continuous peaceful protest, demonstration and agitation".

It also sought directions to the respondents to ensure "fair and respectful treatment of the protesting farmers", besides allowing free movement.

The plea sought a report about alleged human rights violations by police, besides adequate compensation for the victim farmers and their families.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.