The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Tuesday requested Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud to take action against “erring farmers” for trying to enter Delhi forcibly in a bid to create “nuisance” and disturb the daily life of citizens.
Farmers from Punjab commenced their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march to press their demands, including a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for their crops, after a meeting between their representatives and two Union ministers, remained deadlocked.
The agitating farmers plan to head to Delhi from the Ambala-Shambhu, Khanauri-Jind and the Dabwali borders.
In a letter to the CJI, SCBA president Adish C Aggarwala also urged him to issue necessary instructions to ensure courts do not pass any adverse orders due to non-appearance of advocates in any matter listed before them till there are obstacles in free movement of people on Delhi borders due to the agitation.
“I further request your lordship to take suo motu (on its own) action against the erring farmers for forcibly trying to enter Delhi in a bid to create nuisance and disturb the daily life of citizens,” Aggarwala said.
The senior advocate said even if the demands of the agitating farmers are genuine, they don’t have the right to put the general public to hardship.
“This is the right time when the Supreme Court should act suo motu and ensure that these farmers don’t create any nuisance and cause huge inconvenience to the general public,” he said.
The letter said it was suspected that the protest, coming a few months before the general elections, was “politically motivated”.
It said the right to protest should not be allowed to impede the right of the common citizens to lead their lives normally.
“By not accepting the offer of the Government of India, suggested at last night’s talks, the so-called leaders of the farmers have decided to move to Delhi only to create problems to people of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. If they are still adamant on protesting, they should protest in their native places,” the letter said.
It said lawyers practising in the apex court, the Delhi High Court, different commissions, tribunals and district courts would face huge difficulties while trying to attend court proceedings.
The letter referred to farmers’ protest in 2021-2022 during which arterial roads at three Delhi border points with neighbouring states remained blocked for several months, causing hardship to the general public.
“In light of today’s farmers’ protest, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Police have heightened security measures at the Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders, setting up nails and road barricades to deter vehicles transporting protesters from entering Delhi,” it said.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced that more than 200 farmer unions will head to Delhi to press the Centre to accept their demands.