Farm laws: Delhi Bar Council speaks up against judicial power given to executive

The letter to the PM states that “this will seriously jeopardise the interest of public as getting justice at the doors of bureaucracy is far from reality”


The Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) has come out in support of the protesting farmers and has written a letter to the Prime Minister about the bar of Civil Court Jurisdiction under the Farm laws.

The letter states that the laws are detrimental to the interest of legal professionals as the laws bar the jurisdiction of civil courts and allow SDMs/ADMs to adjudicate upon matters that arise therein. The letter brings to the notice of PM Modi that these laws are not related to routine revenue matters but matters which are contractual and commercial in nature thus warranting intervention of courts of law. The BCD asks, “How can any litigation having civil consequences be given for adjudication to structure involving administrative agencies, controlled and run by executive authorities?” 

The letter also mentions separation of powers that is one of the main principles of democracy and states that by giving the Executive the power to adjudicate will seriously jeopardise civil jurisdiction of district courts. “These (District) courts are at the doorstep of people, where one can approach for access to justice… This will seriously jeopardise the interest of the public as getting justice at the doors of bureaucracy is far from reality”.

The BCD states that letting bureaucrats decide disputes between traders and farmers “will lead to corruption and touts will victimize unimaginably”. It further states that the government surreptitiously inserted such provisions which pose a threat to judicial institutions.

“In fact, the strategy to hide and seek and introduce provisions to oust jurisdiction in this manner is highly inappropriate. We can’t be unmindful of the fact that a strong judicial institution to check administrative arbitrariness and unfair treatment is essential in a democratic republic and not an amenable executive authority. Introduction of Conciliation Board to be constituted by the SDMs headed by his junior officer, as Chairman is distractive and unaccepted.”

The letter states that the sole purpose of barring court jurisdiction deprives fair adjudication and determination of respective rights of farmers. It further states that the judiciary is the watchdog that protects rights of citizens and transfer of judicial powers to untrained executives will create institutional crisis. It also raises questions on the independence of SDMs/ADMS who are under command of their bosses and compares it to discipline and independence of judiciary.

The letter concludes by speaking in support of the protesting farmers and mentions how these laws will victimize farmers at the hands of black marketeers and will give financial advantage to a certain class, which is against public interest. “We further request you after withdrawing this impugned legislation, give an audience to the leaders of the farmers to come out with an amicable solution and then may bring the legislation which may be in welfare and upliftment of the farmers of the country”.

The letter may be read here.


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