Farmers including women under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee held a protest at Pandherkalan village in Amritsar.
With the agitation refusing to die down, the court said the farmers' right to protest can not be stifled even as it urged protesters to return to their livelihood.
The Supreme Court concluded the hearing by staying the implementation of the three farm laws and formed a four-member committee to hear farmers' grievances. He was heading a bench also comprising Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramania.
The bench also lauded the farmers for carrying out a peaceful protest and refrained from directing their eviction from the present site, observing "it may not stifle a peaceful protest".
December 3, 2020: The government held first round of talks with representatives of farmers but the meeting remained inconclusive.
"The representatives of all the farmers' bodies, whether they are holding a protest or not and whether they support or oppose the laws shall participate in the deliberations of the Committee and put forth their viewpoints".
The Morcha has over the past month repeatedly rejected the government's proposal to set up a committee to resolve the differences, labelling it a strategy to stall and tire out the farmers protesting on the road in the cold.
The top court on January 12 ordered the formation of a committee of experts to hold talks with the federal government and farmers to end the stalemate as the main protest on New Delhi's outskirts entered its 48th day.
Its activists shouted slogans terming the BJP government as authoritarian and alleging it of promoting crony-capitalism. He said that "politics does not matter" when it comes to farmers' interests. "We will continue our agitation", farmer leader Balbeer Singh Rajewal told the presser.
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The court said the proposed committee shall be provided a place as well as secretarial assistance at Delhi by the government and all the expenses for hold sittings at Delhi or anywhere else shall be borne by the Centre.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, for nearly two months, protesting against what they say are laws created to benefit large private buyers at the expense of growers.
After farmers launched the agitation, the government initiated dialogue.
Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, claimed that "Khalistanis" have infiltrated the protest and he will file an affidavit along with the necessary inputs of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
They say the legislation passed by Parliament in September will lead to the cartelization and commercialization of agriculture, make farmers vulnerable to corporate greed and devastate their earnings. They reiterated their demand for the total repeal of the laws. They have, however, shown willingness to attend the scheduled ninth round of talks on January 15 with the government, though they have asserted they would not settle for anything less than a complete repeal of the laws.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also raised questions over the formation of the committee, asking can justice be expected from people who have given written support to the "anti-agriculture laws".
"It is clear that the court is being misguided by various forces even in its constitution of a committee", farm leaders said in their statement.