Farmers' protest: SC asks Delhi Police to take call on R-Day tractor rally

Chief Justice S A Bobde, said “the question of entering Delhi is a law and order matter and will be determined by the police” as the court was not the “first authority” | Photo: PTI
The Supreme Court on Monday left it to the Delhi Police to take a call on whether it would allow protesting farmers to enter the capital for a tractor rally on January 26.

Meanwhile, in a late night development, the 10th round of talks between protesting farmers and the Centre which was scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed by a day and will now be held on January 20.

Refusing to go into the legality of the proposed march, the Bench, headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, said “the question of entering Delhi is a law and order matter and will be determined by the police” as the court was not the “first authority”.

The court, while hearing the Centre's application seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor march or any other kind of protest that seeks to disrupt Republic Day celebrations, told Attorney General K K Venugopal it would take up the matter for hearing on January 20.

“We are adjourning the matter and you have all the authority to deal with this matter,” the Bench, also comprising Justices L N Rao and Vineet Saran, told the Attorney General.

“Does the SC say as to what are the powers of police and how they will exercise them? We are not going to tell you what to do.”

Reacting to the court’s decision, protesting farmers’ unions said they had a constitutional right to take out a tractor rally peacefully and asserted that thousands of people will participate in the event.

“We will take out the rally peacefully without disrupting any law and order. We will exercise our constitutional right and we will definitely enter Delhi,” Paramjit Singh, general-secretary of Bharat Kisan Union’s (BKU’s) Lakhowal Punjab faction, told PTI.

On January 12, the SC had stayed the implementation of three contentious farm laws and constituted a four-member committee to make recommendations to resolve the impasse between the Centre and farmers' unions protesting at Delhi borders for months.

The government and protesting farmer unions will meet on January 20 for the tenth round of talks. 

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