Thursday's event a rehearsal for January 26 tractor parade: Farmer leader

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to hear the Centre’s application seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor or trolley march or any other kind of protest which seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations of the Republic Day on January 26.

The Centre, in an application filed through Delhi Police, has said that any proposed march or protest which seeks to disrupt and disturb the Republic Day celebrations will cause an ’embarrassment to the nation.’

It said the right to protest can never include “maligning the nation globally” and requested the top court to restrain anyone from conducting any protest march either in the form of tractor march, trolley march, vehicle march or any other mode by entering into the National Capital Region Territory of Delhi.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde issued notice on the application and said that it be served upon the farmers’ unions, which are protesting against the new farm laws.

“Taken on board. Issue notice returnable on January 18,” said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

The application said it has come to the knowledge of security agencies that a small group of protesting individuals or organisations have planned to carry out a tractor march on Republic Day.

“It is submitted that the proposed march is slated to disturb and disrupt the august celebrations of nation on Republic Day and would be bound to create a massive law and order situation,” the application said.

It further said “it is submitted that the said proposed march/protest seeks to disrupt and disturb such celebrations which is bound to create a serious law and order situation and will cause an embarrassment to the nation.”

The application came up for consideration when the top court was hearing on a batch of pleas including those challenging the validity of these farm laws, those supporting these legislations and those raising the issue of farmers protesting at Delhi borders.

The apex court stayed the implementation of the contentious new farm laws till further orders and constituted a four-member committee to make recommendations to resolve the impasse over them between the Centre and farmers’ unions protesting at Delhi borders.