On Monday, 6th September 2021 while hearing the matter of the Public Interest Litigation filed by the residents of Sonepat, Haryana against the farmers who are protesting and have allegedly blocked the Singhu Border which connects Haryana and Delhi, the bench consisting of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli held that the Supreme Court cannot be called upon in such matters since there has been no “gross infringement” and that they cannot be the first instance court in such cases.
The farmers have been protesting against the three agricultural laws included under the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 on different borders of the country since 26th November 2020.
Therefore, the farmers are sitting on the Singhu Border in protest which is causing a problem to the people travelling from Haryana and Delhi and hence the petition was filed.
The counsel relying the case in which the Supreme Court Bench consisting of Justices S. K. Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy contended that the Bench had held that the farmers’ protest cannot block road traffic, observing the situation of Monicca Agarwaal, the petitioner who had to travel from Noida to Delhi and due to the protest had asked to travel for two hours for reaching her office.
The counsel using this case as the precedent requested the Supreme Court to intervene in this case as well.
OBSERVATION OF THE COURT
The Bench of the esteemed judges held that since the matter is from Haryana, the petition should be filed under the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. The Hon’ble judges also held that the High Court would be more aware of the situation of the local area than the apex Court and therefore the petition should be filed there instead of the Supreme Court.
Furthermore, the Bench stated that the High Court is responsible for finding a peaceful solution to resolve the issue of “a balance between the right to protest and the right to access basic amenities".
The Bench also emphasized the need of the citizens to have faith in the judgement for the High Court.