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Farm laws: CJI slams culture of 'branding', 'maligning' people

Wednesday - January 20, 2021 2:09 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) On the issue of farmer unions terming the Supreme Court-appointed committee as "pro-farm laws", Chief Justice S.A. Bobde on Wednesday made several critical observations, saying that "branding" people and "maligning" their reputation as some don't want them on the committee, has become a cultural thing.
Citing the committee members, the Chief Justice said "their reputations have been torn to shreds."
The top court made these observation while hearing an application by Rajasthan-based farmer organisation that cited the pro-farm laws opinions expressed by committee members in the past and also reports in the media highlighting their pro-farm laws stand.
The Chief Justice told the counsel appearing for farmer unions "have you not found anybody in politics when people who had expressed an opinion, change their view once they come across a contrary view?"
The top court expressed anguish at the farmer unions and also the self-appointed critics for maligning the reputation of some of the brilliant minds in agriculture who were on the court-appointed committee. The Chief Justice said, "no one has any right to call the experts in the committee biased or prejudiced."
He queried "how do you say the members of the committee are biased and hence disqualified?"
The top court emphasised that it has not given any adjudication power to the members of the committee, instead it has been formed to listen to the grievances of the farmer unions against the farm laws and then the committee will submit a report to the court. The Chief Justice asked "How can this make them biased?"
Thousands of farmers are protesting against the three controversial farm laws since November at various Delhi borders. The farmer unions have refused to go before the Supreme Court-appointed committee, alleging that its members have a "pro-farm laws" opinion.

--IANS ss/kr