Published On: Tue, Jan 12th, 2021

Harish Salve ‘concerned’ as senior lawyers appearing for farmers absent

New Delhi: Senior advocate Harish Salve raised the issue of four senior lawyers, who represented farmer unions, being absent in the hearing on farms laws in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, terming it “really concerning”.

Salve also submitted that the Republic Day parade must go unblemished

Senior lawyers — Dushyant Dave, HS Phoolka, Colin Gonsalves and Prashant Bhushan — did not appear before the bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

On Monday, senior advocates Dave, Phoolka, Gonsalves and Bhushan, appeared before the top court and raised issues with the farm laws. Dave, who represented eight farmer unions, submitted that he would consult the unions about their willingness to appear before the court-appointed committee. The Chief Justice told Dave that if farmers had met the government to negotiate on the farm laws, then why would not they go to the committee set up by the top court. “Don’t create this odd argument,” he said.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the Chief Justice sought Dave’s response on the ongoing discussion on farm laws. “Where is Dave, where has he gone now? Yesterday, he said he will get back to us with the view of the farmer unions (on setting up of a court-appointed committee); he hasn’t logged in.”

Salve, representing a petitioner seeking removal of farmers at various Delhi borders, also cited Dave’s absence in the hearing, contending that nobody wants judicial process to achieve success and there Dave, Phoolka, and Gonsalves are not before the court, though they said they represent large number of farmer unions.

“This is really concerning,” he said.

Salve also submitted that the Republic Day parade must go unblemished. As the Chief Justice replied that Dave had said that there will be no tractor rally, Salve said: “But, he is not here today. The Solicitor General has filed an application to stop the rally.”

The top court issued notice on this application filed by the Centre seeking injunction to stop farmers’ protest from disrupting the Republic Day parade and scheduled the hearing on the matter on Monday.

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