The Bharatiya Kisan Union Bhanu on Friday filed an intervention application before the Supreme Court in the petition filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Tiruchi Siva against the three new farm laws, reported Live Law. Several farmer groups have been protesting against the new legislations since last month, and have so far dismissed the Centre’s offers to assuage their fears.
The farmers’ union said they were forced to file the application as they did not receive a reply to their representations sent to respondents or states. The plea challenges the three new laws on farming – The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
“...[the acts] are illegal and arbitrary, because, these acts would pave way for cartelization and commercialization of the agricultural produces and if allowed to stand, we are going to completely ruin our country as the corporates can, with one stroke, export of our agriculture produce without any regulation, and may even result in famines,” the plea said, according to Live Law.
The application in the court also noted that the laws were passed hurriedly without adequate discussion and their implementation in the existing form would be disastrous for the farmer community as it would facilitate an unregulated market, reported NDTV. It highlighted that without the Agricultural Produce Market Committee “acting as a protective shield” for the farmers, the market would fall to the “corporate greed of multinational companies who are more profit-oriented”. The new laws would also come in the way of negotiations due to the illiteracy of many farmers.
The Parliament had passed three ordinances – Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Assurance and Farm Service Ordinance 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 – in September. They were signed into laws by President Ram Nath Kovind on September 27.
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have camped out at the entrance to Delhi for over 15 days, demanding the government should abolish the new legislations. They fear the new policies could pave the way for the government to stop buying grains at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.
The Centre, which claims the laws would revitalise India’s agrarian economy by boosting produce, has made several attempts to placate the farmers. But five rounds of talks have failed to break the impasse so far. The agitation continued and another round of negotiations is scheduled for December 9.