A three-judge bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said that as a outcome of the stay till further orders, the MSP system in existence before the enactment of the farm laws shall be maintained.
"While we may not stifle a peaceful protest, we think that this extraordinary order of stay of implementation of the farm laws will be perceived as an achievement of the objective of such protest at least for the present and will encourage the farmers bodies to convince their members to get back to their livelihood, both in order to protect their own lives and health and in order to protect the lives and properties of others", the court said, a day after it came down heavily on the Centre over its handling of the protests and negotiations with the farmer leaders.
The top court on January 12 ordered the formation of a committee of experts to hold talks with the federal government and farmers to end the stalemate as the main protest on New Delhi's outskirts entered its 48th day.
Ashok Gulati, the Infosys chair professor for agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, had likened the laws to a "a 1991 moment for agriculture", referring to the opening up of the economy by the P.V. Narasimha Rao government under then finance minister Manmohan Singh's watch.More news: B.C. records 446 new cases of COVID-19, 9 deaths Tuesday
Protesting farmers owing allegiance to different farm bodies held protest at many places in the state and burnt copies of new agriculture laws. He has called for amendments to factor in farmers' concerns.
All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC) of which Maan is the president of is however of the opinion that the government can still make a few amendments. He has already supported the three controversial farm laws, videos of which are on his YouTube channel.
To soothe fear among protesters, the court ruled that the existing system of government setting a minimum floor price for procurement of certain farm produce will continue and no farmer will be deprived of their land using the new laws.
The farmers' unions, while welcoming the suspension of the implementation of the Acts, said it was not a solution that they had been asking for, because the laws could be reinstated anytime.More news: Janhvi Kapoor to feature in Aanand L Rai’s ‘Good Luck Jerry’
"We can not accept a committee loaded with people who have written articles in the media in support of the laws".
Noting that the negotiations between the farmers' bodies and the government have not yielded any result so far, the court said, "We are of the view that the constitution of a committee of experts in the field of agriculture to negotiate between the farmers' bodies and the Government of India may create a congenial atmosphere and improve the trust and confidence of the farmers. We see it as an effort to divert attention from the real issue and reduce pressure on the government", he said.
"This was a precautionary measure we took in view of yesterday's hearings where there was talk of a committee". The apex court has ordered the committee to hold its first meeting within 10 days.
Farmer leaders, opposition and some of Modi's allies fear the laws will lead to corporate control over agricultural production, processing, and markets and lower crop prices by removing government purchases causing losses to cultivators. The agitating farmers made it clear they will not participate in the committee process. Where is the other viewpoint? The G-4 on farm laws is a quartet of evangelists. "In sports, there is a name for this...."More news: Bill Belichick rejects Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump