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SC dismisses PIL seeking directions to govt to consider reasonable demands of farmers

IANS | March 04, 2024 09:35 PM

NEW DELHI: Dismissing the PIL seeking directions to the Centre and various state governments to consider the 'reasonable demands' of protesting farmers as withdrawn, the Supreme Court on Monday remarked that such a plea should not be only filed for publicity purposes and a person really committed to the cause should only come forward for filing public interest litigation on the issue.

At the very outset, a Bench presided over by Justice Surya Kant was requested by the counsel appearing for the petitioner to allow withdrawal of the petition and sought liberty to file a fresh petition.

At this, Justice Kant said: “Don’t file a petition on the basis of news items. You (petitioner) should do your own homework. These are very serious issues and a person who is really committed, sincere and serious only should come forward and not everyone. Do not come only for publicity purposes.”

The bench, also comprising Justice KV Viswanathan, added that the matter is already pending before the Pujab and Haryana High Court and the petitioner may await the outcome in those proceedings.

It said: “If you can read all these news articles (relating to farmers' protest), you must have also read that the P&H High Court is also seized of the matter. The High Court is already considering the issues raised in the petition. Maybe you could provide assistance to the High Court or suppose, the High Court may redress your grievances and you may not require to petition the Supreme Court. At least, be careful.”

After making the aforesaid observations, the apex court proceeded to dictate its order as follows: “At the outset, learning counsel appearing for the petitioners seeks and is permitted to withdraw the petition with liberty to have recourse to appropriate remedy.”

The plea said that the Centre and governments of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh should ensure fair and respectful treatment to the protesting farmers and instruct authorities to not cause hindrance in farmers' peaceful march and gathering in the national capital.

The PIL alleged that usage of tear gas, rubber bullet pellets, expired shells etc., against peacefully protesting farmers has resulted into serious and grievous injuries and "in some cases death of the farmers thus injured, due to the actions of the police authorities".

"The actions taken by the respondent governments by creating fortification across the borders of the national capital, creating hostile and violent situations against its own peaceful citizens and not allowing the farmers to exercise their democratic right, have led to direct and indirect defamation of the intentions and the objective of the protesting farmers, " the plea said.

It sought directions to the Centre and state governments to stop all violence against the protesters and remove all barricading and fortification.

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