DMK MP Tiruch Siva, Member of Parliament has moved the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the three Acts enacted by Parliament recently, the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 (Act 20 of 2020), the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 (Act 21 of 2020) and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 (Act 21 of 2020).
A Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader in his plea said that these new legislations “are prima facie unconstitutional, illegal and arbitrary”. The impugned three Acts are anti-farmer and anti-agriculturists brought out during COVID time with the sole intention to benefit a few private corporations.
“These Acts would pave way for cartelization and commercialization of the agricultural produces and if allowed to stand, are going to ruin India as the corporate can, with one stroke, export our agricultural produce without any regulation, and may even result in famines,”, he said in his plea.
The Rajya Sabha MP further added that “very soon, the country which fought for its independence from the British will have to wage war to free itself from the clutches of crony capitalism”. The Petition is filed through Mr. D Kumanan, Advocate on Record (Partner at Lawmen and White) stating that the three Acts attack the very foundation of the agricultural fabric of the country that was built to safeguard the interests of the farmers and not leave them at the mercy of the new era of capitalism. Stating the two consequences that the impugned Act will create, the petition reads as “ the APMC (Average Produce Market Committee) continues to set the reference price which will make no sense because of the private players still look to the APMC for a reference price, then the whole idea of getting rid of the inefficient APMC doesn’t hold. Furthermore, Large-scale trade outside the mandi is bound to happen because new players will prefer to trade outside the mandi where they don’t have to pay charges. APMC traders too might now prefer to operate outside the mandi for the same reason”. The Petitioner further contended that the Parliament has acted ultra vires of Article 246 of the Constitution by legislating the Acts that cover under the State list and it has the legislative competence to draft policies or enact any law, with respect to the agricultural fabric of the country.
“…The basic fabric of federalism unites the union and different states within an overarching political system in such a way so as to allow each to maintain its own fundamental political integrity. Therefore, the federal structure of our democracy cannot be permitted to be destroyed by the Union Legislature blatantly encroaching into matters purely within the domain of the State Legislatures”, the plea reads.
In his plea, the five-time Member of Parliament contended, “…..the impugned Attack the very foundation of the agricultural fabric of the country that was built to safeguard the interests of farmers and not leave them at the mercy of the new era of privatization”. Earlier, a Congress MP TN Prathapan, who represents Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala has moved the top court challenging the validity of the new farm laws.