Wednesday, February 21

‘Delhi Chalo’: Supreme Court Lawyers Urge CJI to Take Suo Motu Action Against Farmers Protest

Edited by Aishwarya Krishnan

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) wrote to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud urging a suo motu action against farmers undertaking the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march.

SCBA president Adish Aggarwala wrote a letter requesting the CJI to take cognisance of “erring farmers” travelling from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana for a large-scale protest in Delhi. The letter stated, “Earlier, in 2021 and 2022, three Delhi borders with the neighboring states remained blocked for several months due to a similar protest, causing hardship to the general public. It is also a matter of record that many persons died while trying to come to Delhi for better medical treatment but could not reach Delhi hospital in time due to road blockades…”

Aggarwala expressed his concerns that the protest could disrupt court proceedings and has requested that no adverse orders be issued should lawyers be unable to attend due to the protests.

The letter also stated that the protests were politically motivated in light of the upcoming elections. Citing inconvenience and potential danger to the general public, the letter requests the CJI to act suo motu to ensure the situation does not worsen.

Massive security arrangements have been put in place at the city borders Section 144 has been declared and entry of tractor trolleys and other vehicles carrying protestors has prohibited.

Visuals from Delhi’s Gazipur, Shambhu and Tikri borders show barbed wires erected on the heavily barricaded roads. Additionally, cranes and earthmovers have also been used to put large containers on the roads to deter vehicles approaching the Union Capital.

After talks with the central government failed last night, the farmers have proceeded with their march, heading towards Delhi. Their demands include creating a law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops, full debt waiver and pension among others.