Bhartiya Kisan Union Bhanu moves to Supreme court challenging Farm Laws

The historic farmers' movement has brought the arrogant Modi government to its knees and to the negotiating table. Supreme court intervention at this stage might delay the matter and may prove counterproductive.

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Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi borders for the last two weeks for the repeal of the three contentious farm laws. The protest of farmers from the state of Punjab and Haryana has become a nationwide movement with widespread support from the public at large from all over the country.

Meanwhile, one of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) faction called Bhartiya Kisan Union( Bhanu) has filed an intervention application before the Supreme Court in the plea filed by Tiruchi Siva, Member of Parliament (DMK), challenging the three Farm Acts that have sparked protests across the country.

The Application challenges the three new Farm Laws – The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

In the petition, the BKU(B) has alleged that the farm laws will “pave way for cartelisation and commercialisation of agriculture,” and will make farmers “vulnerable to corporate greed.”

The application, filed through advocate AP Singh also states that the Acts were “passed hastily without adequate discussion”, and despite multiple representations sent by various Kisan groups, the government is not ready to consider their problems.

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“Inherent weaknesses of the agricultural sector cannot be addressed by way of monetization of farmers”, and suggested that the system “needs strengthening of APMC system, MSP and financial support”.

The Application further states that the laws are unconstitutional as they lead to farmers being at the mercy of “corporate greed of multinational companies” and will end up dismantling the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) system intended to ensure fair prices for farm products.

The BKU(Bhanu) has further pointed out that farmers have been protesting for several days at Delhi borders, whole multiple rounds of talks with the government have remained inconclusive.

“That without APMC acting as a protective shield around the farmers, the market would ultimately fall to the corporate greed of multinational companies who are more profit-oriented and have no care for the condition of the poverty-stricken farmers which are much time coming on the stage of starvation due to natural calamity (sic)”.

It has also been contended that due to the illiteracy of many farmers, there would exist their inability to negotiate the best terms with a private company and may lead to an unequal bargaining position.

Six petitions against farm laws are already pending in the Supreme Court, including one by DMK MP Tiruchi Siva. RJD Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha and Rakesh Vaishnav of the Chhattisgarh Kisan Congress also moved the SC against the three farm laws. Another plea, for a stay on the implementation of the laws, was also moved by the Bharatiya Kisan Party in November.

The BKU(B) petition asks for permission to intervene in the case and present arguments. The matter is likely to be heard in the last week of December.

The Supreme Court had issued notice to the Centre on October 12 and sought their response.

The farmers’ movement at Delhi borders and other parts of India is historic and has brought the arrogant Modi government to its knees and to the negotiating table. Supreme court intervention might delay the matter and may prove counterproductive.

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