New Delhi, September 28

A day after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, Congress MP from Trissur in Kerala TN Prathapan on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging its validity.

In his petition, Prathapan has challenged the constitutional validity of various provisions of the Act that has led by farmers’ protests in Punjab and certain other parts of India.

The Act was liable to be struck down as it violated Articles 14, 15 and 21 (right to equality, right to non-discrimination and right to life and liberty) of the Constitution of India, Prathapan submitted.

“Without Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) acting as a protective shield around the farmers, the market would ultimately fall to the corporate greed of multinational companies who are more profit oriented and have no care for the conditions of the poverty-stricken farmers who are dependent on farming for their livelihood,” the petitioner said, opposing bypassing of APMC mechanism.

“The APMC deterred the exploitation of the farmers by providing minimum support price which would guarantee that the farmer who comes to the APMC would not leave empty handed,” Prathapan contended.

Alleging that the law has been “hastily passed without having adequate discussion on it, he submitted that “the implementation of the Act in its current form will spell disaster for the farming community by opening a parallel market which is unregulated and gives enough room for exploitation of the farmers’ community by concentration of power in the hands of a few corporates/individuals, multinationals and moneylenders thus working against the very object it was seemingly created for.”

The petitioner contended that “the standards used for farming produce may be more profit oriented and the parties involved may over look the environmental impact of such “standards” leaving the land barren or unfertile due to excessive and over use. Once the land loses its fertility properties, the farmer will lose his only source of income.”

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