The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass an order to restrain protesting farmers and has asked the Delhi Police to deal with the situation. The entry of the protesting farmers into the national capital on Republic Day has to be decided by the Delhi cops, the apex court said on Monday, as it heard a plea seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally scheduled on R-Day, i.e January 26.
The farmers who have been protesting against the three new farm laws for close to two months are firm on holding the proposed tractor rally on Republic Day at the Haryana-Delhi borders and continue their sit-in demonstration till the agriculture laws are repealed.
“The question of entry into Delhi is a law and order situation that is to be determined by the police,” Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said during the hearing. The chief justice added that the Supreme Court was not the first authority in the matter. “Does the Supreme Court say as to what are the powers of police and how they will exercise them?” the court asked, “We are not going to tell you what to do.”
Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court that the entry of 5,000 people into Delhi would be illegal. “You are at liberty to invoke all powers under the law,” Justice Bobde said in response. The court will next hear the case on Wednesday.
In its application filed through the Delhi Police, the government cited the historical and constitutional significance of Republic Day and said the farmers’ march was aimed to “disturb and disrupt” the celebrations. Delhi Police also said that any disruption or obstruction in the said functions would not only be against the law and order, public order, public interest but would also be a huge embarrassment for the nation.