Government takes hard stand, says let SC decide on farm laws
New Delhi : After many failed talks with the farm leaders, the government took a different root and said that they are not scrapping the new farm laws, instead leaves the matter to Supreme Court.
The government tossed the ball on SC's lap a day after it requested the apex court not to insist on formal replies as the talks are going on with the farmer unions leaders.
The government side argued it was ready with amendments and concessions but would not repeal the laws, implying that the unions could consider whether they might arrive at a better deal with the Centre or in the SC.
The move is indeed unusual and seems intended to present the unions with a choice of either reaching a negotiated settlement short of repeal of laws or taking their chances in the legal process before the court.
The court is to hear the case on Monday and the Centre and the unions decided to meet again on January 15.
Meanwhile, the farm leaders are not keen in taking the court route as they say that it is an issue of “policy domain and not just a legal or technical matter.”
Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “The discussion on the three laws was taken up but no decision could be made. The government urged farmers’ unions that if they give an option other than repealing, we will consider it. But no option could be presented. So, it was decided to hold the next meeting on January 15.”
“Consultations in view of alternatives to matters relating to agriculture reform laws will take place before the next round of meeting,” said the ministry’s statement in Hindi. This point was, however, missing from its English translation.