Jan 12, 2021 15:13 UTC
  • Indian court suspends implementation of new controversial farm laws

India’s Supreme Court has temporarily suspended the implementation of new laws liberalizing agricultural markets that have sparked mass protests.

Chief Justice Sharad Bobde on Tuesday ordered a stay for an undisclosed period on the laws, and said the Supreme Court would set up a panel to hear the farmers’ grievances.

“We have the power to make a committee and the committee can give us the report,” he said, adding, “We will protect farmers.”

The laws, passed in September, would allow farmers to sell their produce on the open market, including to supermarket chains, instead of government-controlled wholesale markets, known as mandis, which guarantee a minimum price.

Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping on the outskirts of New Delhi, the capital, to protest against the laws for more than a month.

Farm leaders say the laws benefit large private buyers and harm growers.

The government has rejected the protesters’ demands to repeal the laws, and eight rounds of talks between the two sides have failed. More talks are due on Friday.