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    Supreme Court says farmers have right to protest, suggests Centre to put farm laws on hold

    Acknowledging the right of farmers to hold non-violent protests, the Supreme Court on Thursday suggested that the Centre put implementation of the new farm laws on hold while putting forward the idea of constituting an impartial and independent committee, which may include experts like P Sainath, to end the impasse. The Centre said farmers would not come forward for negotiations if implementation of farm laws was put on hold.

    Heading a three-judge bench hearing a clutch of petitions seeking removal of farmers protesting at the borders of Delhi, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said it would order for serving of notices to protesting farmer unions and give them liberty to approach the vacation bench.

    A protest is constitutional till it does not destroy property or endanger life. Centre and farmers have to talk. We are thinking of an impartial and independent committee before whom both parties can give its side of story,” the CJI said.

    The top court said the purpose of staging a protest can be achieved if the farmers and the government hold talks and “we wish to facilitate that”. “We will not decide the validity of law today. The only thing which we will decide is the issue of protest and the right to move freely,” the bench made clear at the outset of the hearing.


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