The Bhartiya Kisan Party has moved the Supreme Court praying for the three newly passed farmers’ legislations including The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The 2020 Amendment to the Essential Commodities Act to be declared as unconstitutional on the grounds that Parliament is not empowered to legislate on agriculture, which is a State subject.
The petition is filed through Advocate Sanjeev Malhotra and drawn by Advocate KKL Gautam.
Contentions mentioned in the Petition against Farmers’ Legislations
The Petition raises the question of the passage of the legislations being against the basic structure of the Constitution.
It avers that Parliament lacks the power to make laws on the subject of agriculture, which is a subject purely in the domain of State list. Citing Article 246 of the Constitution.
The petition also addresses the question of repugnancy of legislation, noting that the Court had held that a Central law, which in its pith and substance, deals with a subject falling within List Il, would be bad and ultra vires the Constitution.
The plea adds further that one of the roles of the judiciary is also to examine the validity of the laws passed by the legislature, especially in the backdrop of a number of landmark judgments holding that no law or constitutional amendment can sustain if it is violative of the basic structure.
The petition prays for the 2020 Acts to be quashed, and that a stay be imposed on the same pending the adjudication of the matter.
It has also been prayed that the Court pass directions to strengthen the existing Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) and that Minimum Support Price (MSP) be implemented in agricultural markets for the benefit of farmers.