On Sunday, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana issued a press note announcing its support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called on 8 December by farmers in various parts of the country.
The Advocates of Punjab and Haryana have been actively participating in the farmers agitation (for the last two months), the council informed. It also stated that, the council stands with the farmers in their agitation against the new laws.
Further, the Bar Council requests the Central Government to immediate withdrawal of three Farmer’s Act passed by the parliament recently.
The press note states that, “The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana opposes the new Agriculture Acts passed by the Central government. These new enactments are not only detrimental to the interests of farmers but are also detrimental to the interest of lawyers. The Bar of civil court jurisdiction in these new Acts is serious challenge to the independence of judiciary.”
It further states that, “The separation of judiciary and executive is a salient feature of our constitution. Under the new Acts the disputes will be heard by SDM/ADMs who are not trained to hear the litigation involving civil consequences and moreover, they are administrative organ of the Government and would be unable to protect the rights of farmers. The disputes arising out of new enactments will involve commercial matters, contract act agreement and partnership matters which is under the preview of civil courts and therefore, baring the civil court jurisdiction is detrimental to the interest of lawyers and is an effort to undermine the judiciary.”
The Council has also requested the Advocates of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh including Punjab & Haryana High Court to abstain from work on 8th December, while announcing the support for the call of “Bharat Bandh.” And it also requested to support the call for Bharat Bandh to the Chairman BCI and to the Chairman’s of all the State Bar Councils throughout India.
Additionally 1000 blankets and dry ration to the agitating farmers at Sindhu boarder “in order to help and support the farmers” will be given by the Bar Council.
The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana is a statutory body under the Advocates Act 1961 which is the Apex Body of the Lawyers of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. There are around One Lakh Ten Thousand Advocates enrolled with the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana.
Pertaining to farmers and to give an audience to the leaders of the farmers in order for an amicable solution to be reached, the Bar Council of Delhi, on Wednesday 02nd December, wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi requesting for the immediate withdrawal of the three legislations (Farms Acts)
The Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department) notified the presidential assent to the following 4 Acts on Sunday (27th September 2020);
- The Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Act, 2020; (Presidential assent received on 24th September)
- The Farmers (Empowerment And Protection) Agreement On Price Assurance And Farm Services Act, 2020; (Presidential assent received on 24th September)
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and (Presidential assent received on 26th September)
- The Jammu And Kashmir Official Languages Act, 2020 (Presidential assent received on 26th September)
Challenging the constitutional validity of the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, Congress MP in Lok-Sabha, TN Prathapan has moved the Supreme Court.