Committee members are not judges, they can change their views: CJI

The comment seemed to be aimed at the criticism that the farm laws committee is comprised of members who have expressed views in favour of the laws

farmers protest

The Supreme Court, while hearing a suo moto case on expediting criminal trials, made a remark stating that merely because someone has expressed a view on a particular matter, does not disqualify him to be a member of a committee. This remark was made by CJI SA Bobde while indicating he might appoint Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra as amicus curiae in a petition against physical hearing in Delhi Court.

LiveLaw reported that Luthra said that “I have endorsed a statement supporting virtual hearing. It is part of record. I think it is my duty to point that out.”. To this the CJI responded saying, “How is this a disqualification? Just because a person has expressed a view on the matter, that is not a disqualification to be a member of committee. Generally, there is a peculiar lack of comprehension about constitution of a committee. They are not judges.” He further remarked that he was referring to a general misunderstanding and further commented, “Committee members are not judges. They can change their views.”

Clearly this comment holds relevance as the SC formed committee for farm laws caused a rather huge uproar in the country. CJI Bobde’s comments also indicate that he was referring to the backlash and criticism of the choice of members of the committee which comprised persons who have only spoken in favour of the farm laws, which the farmers are protesting. It was in response to this uproar, that one of the members nominated by the apex court, Bhupinder Singh Mann, a former Member of the Rajya Sabha and the National President of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) and Chairman of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee recused himself from being a member of the said committee.

While this decision resonated with the farmers’ unions, they still are not keen on appearing before the committee. “Mann’s decision is a good step as there is no importance of any committee for farmer unions as it has not been our demand. Mann knew that no farmer union would appear before the court-appointed committee that’s why he has taken this decision,” farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni, senior member of the Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, told PTI. Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of around 40 protesting unions and Chadun has said that farmer leaders will not appear before the committee even if the rest three members also recuse themselves and new members are appointed, reported Hindustan Times.



Maharashtra organisations declare protests marches from Jan 23-25

Centre postpones farm law talks to Jan 20

BKU President Bhupinder Singh Mann quits SC-nominated Committee for farm laws



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