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Background

• Farmers have been protesting against the three Farmers’ Acts viz; Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act as they are apprehensive that the Minimum Support Price scheme will be rolled back by the government in the near future.

• Farmers mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh began “Dilli Chalo” movement on 26th November and started marching towards Delhi to protest against the said acts. Ghazipur, Singhu borders among others have been blocked since then.

What does the PIL Say?

• A PIL was filed on 4th December seeking removal of farmers from the borders as it is blocking routes to supply essentials to the city and gathering of people in such a large number increases the risk of COVID-19 being spread among the protestors.

• The PIL also sought shifting of the protestors to some other place and guidelines to be provided to protestors to follow all the necessary precautions such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Recent Developments

• The Supreme Court on Wednesday has ordered that the eight former unions namely; Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU-Rakesh Tikait), BKU-Sidhupur (Jagjeet S. Dallewal), BKU-Rajewal (Balbeer Singh Rajewal), BKU-Lakhowal (Harinder Singh Lakhowal), Jamhoori Kisan Sabha (Kulwant Singh Sandhu), BKU-Dakaunda (Buta Singh Burjgill), BKU-Doaba (Manjit Singh Rai) and Kul Hind Kisan Federation (Prem Singh Bhangu) be made party to the said PIL.

• A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde also proposed formation of a committee with relevant stakeholders to arrive at an acceptable solution.

• The Chief Justice observed that this will soon become a ‘national issue’ and that there is an urgent need for resolution measures through negotiations.

• The Chief Justice also told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Central governement, “You should be willing to negotiate and we should have a farmers' union before us.”

What are your views on the PIL and the farmers’ protest? Let us know in the comment section below!

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