The Indians Supreme Court has dismissed suit filled by the country’s Government to proscribe farmers’ protest and directed the government and unions to form a committee of experts that could mediate between them.
It further ruled that protest was a fundamental human right in as much as the demonstrators do not vandalise or attack law enforcement officers in the country.
De4livering judgement on Friday, Chief Justice S. A. Bobde said: ““We make it clear that we recognise the fundamental right to protest against a law. There is no question of balancing or curtailing it. But it should not damage anyone’s life or property”.
Thousands of farmers angered by three agricultural laws that they say threaten their livelihoods have intensified their protests by blocking highways and camping out on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi.
Petitioners had approached the Supreme Court to complain that the protests had hampered drivers and making it difficult for people to access emergency medical services.
“We are of the view at this stage that the farmers’ protest should be allowed to continue without impediment and without any breach of peace either by the protesters or the police,” Bobde said.
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s administration had in September introduced the farm bills that the government says will unshackle farmers from having to sell their produce only at regulated wholesale markets and make contract farming easier.
After the introduction, the farmers insisted that the new laws would leave them at the mercy of big corporations that could not be affected by the law.
It was gathered that six rounds of talks between government ministers and farmers’ union leaders have failed to resolve the situation and reach the desired truce.
The government has said while the laws can be amended, it is against repealing the bills. Farmers last week rejected a government’s proposal to amend the legislation.
India’s vast agriculture sector, which makes up nearly 15% of the country’s $2.9 trillion economy, employs about half of its 1.3 billion people.