A matter of policy1 min read . Updated: 12 Jan 2021, 09:28 PM IST
It is for the government to work out policies, and while the manner in which it sought to reform farming was injudicious, no court can stop it from pursuing a legitimate agenda
With talks between the Centre and farmers yielding no breakthrough, hopes were pinned on the Supreme Court to end the deadlock over India’s new farm laws. But the issue appears no closer to resolution. On Tuesday, our top court stayed their implementation and appointed a four-member panel to hear all representations and submit a report. These were matters of life and death, it observed, and said that it was trying to solve the problem in the best way.
To the extent that the court is looking for a modus vivendi, its appointment of a committee is welcome. Even if protesters snub it, as some threaten to, it could offer us a way out of the impasse, perhaps even impress upon farmers that market mechanisms could rescue the farm sector from stagnation. But the judiciary should be careful not to extend its role beyond judging the constitutional validity of laws enacted by Parliament. Many economic reforms run into resistance, but that’s not an argument for retaining the status quo. It is for the government to work out policies, and while the manner in which it sought to reform farming was injudicious, no court can stop it from pursuing a legitimate agenda.