The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it was up to the Delhi Police to decide whether or not to give permission for the proposed tractor rally by farmers on Republic Day, reported PTI. The court was hearing the Centre’s petition seeking an injunction on the proposed rally.

The bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said it was “inappropriate” for the court to act on the Centre’s plea. The court said it was not for it to pass orders. It added that the question of who should be allowed into Delhi to hold protests is a law and order matter that has to be handled by the police and not the court.

“We see it as irregular and improper to allow or disallow any rally or procession,” said the bench, according to NDTV. “The norm is it is police matter. The police decides it. We are not going to pass the order.”

After the court’s order, the Centre withdrew its injunction plea.

At the last hearing on January 18, the court had said that the Delhi Police should decide on the entry of protesting farmers into the Capital as it was a law and order situation. Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had said that the Supreme Court was not the first authority in the matter. “Does the Supreme Court say as to what are the powers of police and how they will exercise them,” he asked. “We are not going to tell you what to do.”

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the leaders of farmers’ unions and top Delhi Police officers held a meeting at the Singhu border to discuss security arrangements and the route for the tractor rally, The Indian Express reported.

Unidentified police officials told the newspaper that they tried to convince farmers to hold their rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway in Haryana and not move towards Kisan Ghat in Delhi, but failed to reach any agreement.

Follow live updates on the farmers’ protest.

In its application filed through the Delhi Police, the Centre had claimed that the farmers’ march was aimed at “disturbing and disrupting” the Republic Day celebrations. It added that the rally would cause embarrassment to the country.

On January 12, a three-judge bench headed by the chief justice had issued a notice to farmers’ unions on the Centre’s application.

The farmers, meanwhile, said their 50-km parade will be held in the Outer Ring Road, the road encircling the city, adding that the rally would be peaceful.

The protestors had on January 7 organised a tractor rally near Delhi, which they said was a rehearsal for Republic Day. Thousands of farmers started journeys on their tractors from protest sites, bordering Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, and Rewasan in Haryana, to the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways.

The farmers’ agitation

Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on the outskirts of Delhi for over 50 days, demanding the repeal of the three agricultural laws passed in September. The farmers believe that the new laws undermine their livelihood and open the path for the corporate sector to dominate agricultural.

The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies. The law passed in September are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and open up the market, the government has claimed.

Two sides are scheduled to hold their tenth meeting on Wednesday. All the previous rounds of discussion have failed to break the deadlock over the agricultural laws.