Govt misleading SC on agri laws: Congress

NEW DELHI: Accusing the Modi government of misleading the Supreme Court on farm laws, Congress on Wednesday said that the Centre had claimed pre-legislative consultations on the contentious laws dating back two decades but had cited instances which only underscored its lack of legislative competence on the issue.
AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said the Centre’s affidavit filed in the SC on January 11 accused the protesters of peddling lies that the government had held no talks on framing of the farm laws. The said affidavit mentioned two decades of consultations, citing Guru committee of 2000, Model APMC Act of Vajpayee government in 2003, working groups of 2013 and a “model law” of 2017.
Singhvi said the very fact that the Centre has cited “model Acts” as “consultation” proved that it had no power to draft laws on these issues relating to agriculture since model laws were optional for states to adopt or reject. In contrast, the Centre went on to create three all-India laws, he added.
“This is a serious example of the Central government misleading the SC and the people of India. It is contempt of court,” he remarked.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “Farm ordinances are passed during lockdown. Parliamentary Committee is NOT allowed to examine Farm Bills. Rajya Sabha MPs are NOT allowed to vote after opposing. An ‘expert’ group that supports the laws is appointed through Supreme Court to sanctify them. This is New India!”
Replying to a question, Singhvi said, “The SC order would have had more force and strength had there not been revelations that the four names in the committee have already taken a stance in favour of the laws. Its moral and real authority will be less,” he said.
Singhvi argued there was no consultation since neither lawmakers nor stakeholders had any clue about what was being put in the three farm laws which were then “rammed down the throat of the Parliament”.