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Expert committee on farm laws has no power to decide on legislation: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the expert committee formed to resolve the deadlock over the three new farm laws has no power to decide on the legislation.

Criticizing the critics of the expert panel the apex court said, “We gave the power to hear everyone and submit a report to us. Where is the question of bias? No need to brand people and malign them, and on top of it cast aspersion on the court,” Chief Justice SA Bobde said on Wednesday.

The court also asked the government to respond to a petition seeking reconstitution of its committee.

Earlier the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of the new farm laws. Thousands of farmers are protesting outside Delhi demanding that the laws be scrapped.

Farm laws and Supreme Court’s panel

Protesters and several opposition parties had raised objections about the panel formed by the Supreme Court stating that all of them had in the past expressed views in favour of the new farm laws.

Bhartiya Kisan Union President Bhupinder Singh Mann, one of the members of the committed had opted out of it.

“You unthinkingly cast aspersions. Someone expressed an opinion… he becomes disqualified? (Bhupinder Singh) Mann had asked for (the) modification of laws… you are saying he is for laws,” Chief Justice SA Bobde said, stressing the experts “are brilliant minds in the agricultural field”.

“You cannot brand people like this. People should have an opinion. Even the best judges have a certain opinion even if they delivered judgments on the other side,” the Chief Justice added.

“We entertained the issue in the interest of the public and farmers. If you do not want to appear don’t appear. Do not brand people. We are finding a solution to this problem. Public opinion is important and it will not determine the outcome,” the top court noted.

The other members of the committee include Pramod Kumar Joshi, an agricultural economist, Ashok Gulati former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, and Anil Ghanwat, the chief of Shetkari Sanghatana.

 

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