The Supreme Court today refused to pass any order on protesting farmers’ proposed tractor rally, which seeks to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations on 26 January.
While hearing the union government’s application seeking an injunction against any kind of farmers’ protest or their proposed tractor rally, the apex court said that the question of entry into Delhi was a law and order issue that was to be determined by the police.
“We are not going to tell you what you should do, Delhi Police is the first authority to decide who should be allowed to enter the national capital,” the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said.
The union government had filed the application through Delhi Police. It said that if any such proposed rally or protest by farmers were to disrupt the Republic Day parade, it would be an “embarrassment to the nation”.
The Supreme Court had agreed to hear the application on 12 January and posted it for hearing on 18 January. The bench issued a notice based on the application and stated that it should be served upon the farmers’ unions that are protesting against the new farm laws.
In its application, the union government said that “maligning the nation globally” could never be included in the right to protest. It urged the apex court to restrain any kind of protest in the form of tractor march, trolley march, vehicle march, or any other mode in the National Capital Region Territory of Delhi.
Farmer leaders have said the tractor rally on 26 January will only take place at the Haryana-Delhi borders and the farmers are not planning to disrupt the Republic Day parade at the Red Fort.
On 12 January, the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of the new contentious farm laws. It had constituted a four-member committee that will make recommendations to resolve the impasse over the laws between the Centre and the protesting farmers’ unions.
A couple of days after the committee was formed, its member National President of the Bhartiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan Coordination Committee Bhupinder Singh Mann recused himself from the expert panel.