CHANDIGARH, Punjab: In an embarrassment for the Supreme Court of India, Bhupinder Mann today recused himself from four-member committee formed by it to resolve the issue of three farm laws enacted by BJP-led Central Government thereby putting a question mark on the move of the apex court.
In a press statement, Mann said, “While I am thankful to Hon’ble Supreme Court of India for nominating me in the 4 member committee to start dialogue with Kisan unions on the three laws brought in by the Central Government”.
“As a farmer myself and a Union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst the farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as to not compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country, I am recusing myself from the committee and I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab”, he added.
This comes a day after farmers’ unions rejected the committee citing that all four members of this committee had favoured the laws. “We don’t accept this committee, all the members in this committee have been pro-government and these members have been justifying the laws,” said Punjab farmers’ unions.
Apart from Mann who is the national president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan Coordination Committee, Dr Parmod Kumar Joshi, an agricultural economist who is also the Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute; Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices; Anil Ghanwat, the chief of Shetkari Sanghatana, are members of the committee.
Including Mann’s name in the committee stirred a row as he has been associated with Congress besides favouring the laws against which the farmers are sitting on morcha (agitation) on the borders of Delhi, National Capital of India. Even, Punjab unit of Mann’s organization disassociated itself from him following his name was announced by the top court.
It is being alleged that the Supreme Court has chosen the members of the committee in partial manner that has further eroded credibility and integrity of the apex court. It is being perceived that the court has only stamped the names given by the Central government, adamant to implement these laws.
Calling the setting up of four member panel as eye-wash, as views of majority of the members are pro-laws, a Sikh organization Dal Khalsa blamed PM Modi for “once again subverting the Justice system to further his government’s policies, which were authoritarian in nature”.
Now, one of its members has indirectly put question mark on the fairness of the SC by recusing himself from it.