The Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 20, said that the committee formed to resolve the deadlock between protesting farmers and the government has no power to decide on the legislations.
"We gave (the committee the) power to hear everyone and submit the report to us. Where is the question of bias? (There is) no need to brand people and malign them, and on top of it cast aspersion on (the) court," Chief Justice SA Bobde said on Wednesday.
The apex court also asked the centre to reply to a petition demanding reconstitution of the committee.
Last week, the SC had suspended the implementation of the three contentious farm laws after it said that the Centre had failed to resolve the issue after several meetings.
Agitated farmers and several opposition party members had raised objections alleging that the four members of the panel had supported the controversial legislation in the past. One of the members, Bhartiya Kisan Union President Bhupinder Singh Mann, last week had stepped out of the committee. Mann had said that he did not wish to "compromise farmers' interests".
Besides Mann, the committee included Pramod Kumar Joshi, an agricultural economist; Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices and Anil Ghanwat, the chief of Shetkari Sanghatana.
"You unthinkingly cast aspersions. Someone expressed opinion... he becomes disqualified? (Bhupinder Singh) Mann had asked for (the) modification of laws... you are saying he is for laws," Chief Justice SA Bobde said.
"You cannot brand people like this. People should have an opinion. Even the best judges have a certain opinion even they delivered judgements on the other side," the CJI added.
"We entertained the issue in the interest of the public and farmers. If you do not want to appear don't appear. Do not brand people. We are finding a solution to this problem. Public opinion is important and it will not determine the outcome," SC noted.
The SC on Wednesday also asked the Centre to withdraw its plea against the tractor rally on Republic Day and reiterated that it will not pass orders against the protest march.