Law

SC Says Centre Is at Liberty to Invoke All Powers if it Wants to Stop Farmers' Tractor Rally

The Delhi Police is the first authority to decide who should be allowed to enter the national capital on Republic Day, the court said.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday told the Centre that the proposed tractor rally by farmers on the Republic Day, January 26, is a matter of law and order, and the Delhi Police is the first authority to decide who should be allowed to enter the national capital.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, while hearing the Centre’s application seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor or trolley march or any other kind of protest which seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations of Republic Day, said that police has all the authority to deal with the matter.

“Does the Supreme Court say as to what are the powers of police are and how they will exercise them? We are not going to tell you what to do,” said the bench, also comprising Justices L.N. Rao and Vineet Saran.

The apex court told Attorney General K.K. Venugopal that it will take up the matter for further hearing on January 20.

Also read: In Punjab, Farmers Conduct ‘Rehearsal’ Ahead of ‘Republic Day Tractor March’

“The question of entering into Delhi is a law and order matter and will be determined by the police,” the bench said, adding, “Mr Attorney General, we are adjourning the matter and you have all the authority to deal with this matter.”

The Centre, in an application filed through Delhi Police, has said that any proposed march or protest which seeks to disrupt and disturb the Republic Day celebrations will cause an embarrassment to the nation.

During Monday’s hearing, the AG said the police’s hand will be strengthened if the court passes an order against the Republic Day protest. At this point, the bench clarified that the court was hearing only certain aspects of the protests, and not taking up the entire issue, LiveLaw reported.

The top court had on January 12 agreed to hear the application.

(With PTI inputs)