RJD MP Manoj Jha has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the recent Farm Acts, 2020. The leader has termed the laws “discriminatory and manifestly arbitrary” and as opening up the possibility of exploitation of marginal farmers by corporates. The impugned laws are the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers’ produce trade and commerce (Protection and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, which received presidential assent on September 27, 2020.
Advocate Fauzia Shakil filed the plea on behalf of Jha. The petition avers that the recent laws corporatize Agriculture, sacrificing the interests of the farmers, effectively rendering them helpless. The Acts were also criticized as in “blatant breach” of the federal structure envisaged in the Constitution. The Centre’s actions amount to usurpation of state authority as Agriculture is a subject falling within the domain of the State List (List II- Entry 14). The passage of the Bills in the Parliament was criticized as in derogation of the conventions and rules of the Parliament. The petition seeks to strike down the laws as ultra vires the Constitution, on the grounds of its discriminatory and manifestly arbitrary nature.
The recent enactment of the Agricultural laws has sparked widespread protests across different parts of the nation. Petitions have also been filed in the SC challenging the laws by Congress Lok Sabha member from Kerala TN Prathapan and DMK Rajya Sabha member from Tamil Nadu Tiruchi Siva.
Lakshmi Raj C