Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on Monday, January 11, criticised the government for its handling of the farmers' protest. "You (Centre) have not handled this properly, we will have to take some action today," the CJI said.
Hearing multiple pleas challenging the new farm laws in addition to the ones raising issues related the ongoing agitation at Delhi's borders, the CJI said that the matter is getting worse.
"The Union of India must take responsibility for all this. You (Centre) are bringing the laws and you can do it in a better manner", Bobde said.
"Any stray incident can spark violence," he said, adding that "as a court, we will not pass any order saying that you cannot protest."
"Each one of us will be responsible if something goes wrong," the bench comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said.
"Some people have committed suicide, old people and women are a part of the agitation. What is happening? We don't want anybody's blood on our hands", the bench stated.
CJI Bobde also asserted that if the Centre does not want to stay the implementation of farm laws, the court will put a stay on it.
The apex court also suggested names of former CJIs including RM Lodha to head panel for finding a solution over farm laws protests. The bench said it will pass orders on the issue in parts.
"We don't know what negotiations are going on? Can the farm laws be put on hold for some time?" asked the Chief Justice.
Arguing for the government, Attorney General KK Venugopal said,"The Court cannot stay legislation unless it finds that the law is passed without legislative competence and the law violates fundamental rights."
Talks between the government and farmer unions on the new farm laws failed to make any headway even after the eighth round of talks. The government and the farmer leaders are scheduled to hold their next meeting on January 15.