Recent instances when the Supreme Court put Centre’s decision on hold
The Supreme Court on January 12, suspended the implementation of the three new farm laws until further notice. It also set up a committee including experts to initiate talks between the farmers and the central government in order to resolve the deadlock.
A day earlier, the Central government had hinted at its intention of putting the implementations of farm laws on hold. The top court observed that steps taken by the central government to break the deadlock were ineffective.
The government and farmers unions have engaged in 8 round of talks but no comprehensive solutions have been found so far. Both the party is scheduled to meet on January 15 again.
This is the first time when a Centre’s decision has been put on hold by the Supreme Court. Some have happened in recent times. Here are some other instances when the Supreme Court put the centre’s decision on hold in recent times.
No construction and demolition in Central Vista Project
The Supreme Court on December 7, had slammed the Centre for beginning construction activities in Central Vista Project while petitions related to it were being heard in the Supreme Court. The court had ordered centre not to do any construction, demolition or tree-falling at the site.
However, it had allowed the Centre to go ahead with the proposed foundation stone laying ceremony on December 10, 2020.
Later, on January 5, the Supreme Court allowed the Centre’s plan for construction of Central Vista project which includes the construction of a new parliament in the Lutyens Delhi.
The Central Vista project, which was announced in September 2019, envisages a new triangular Parliament building and other buildings for several ministries on both sides of the Rajpath in the Lutyens Delhi. The new parliament will have a seating capacity of 900 to 1,200 MPs, and the target is to complete the construction by August 2022 when the country will celebrate its 75th Independence Day.
Supreme Court put a hold on centre’s circular on full payment of wages during lockdown
During the initial days of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the government on March 29 had ordered all the employers in the industry, shops or commercial establishment to make payment of wages to its workers on due date without any delay and deductions for the period their establishments were closed during the lockdown.
Several petitions were filed in the Supreme Court seeking exemption from paying their workforce during the lockdown, challenging the constitutional validity of Section 10(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The Supreme Court ordered administrations across the country to not prosecute employers who were unable to pay full wages to the workers during the lockdown. The direction of the top court virtually stayed the operation of March 29 circular issued by the Ministry of Home Affair. A bench of Justice B.R. Gavai, Sanjay Kishan and L. Nageswara Rao had asked state and the central government to not persecute the private companies, factories and more for non-payment of wages.
The Supreme Court in January 2016, stayed the Centre’s decision to allow Jallikattu a traditional bull-fighting sport. The apex court had also banned Rekla (bullock cart) race few a week after the Centre had lifted the ban on Jallikattu.
Earlier the sport was banned by Justice Banumathi, which was lifted by Centre. The bench of then CJI Justice Dipak Mishra and N V Ramana was hearing a petition by Animal Welfare Board when it agreed that Jallikattu is “inherently cruel” and bulls cannot be used or tortured as performing animals for human festivity.
The top court directed a stay on the notification dated January 7, 2016, issued by the Environment Ministry. It had also sent notices to Environment Ministry and Tamil Nadu government on petitions filed by various bodies and sought their replies within 4 weeks.
The Central government had lifted the ban on Jallikattu, which was imposed by the Supreme Court in 2014. Animal rights activists strongly condemned the move and alleged that the government’s motive was political as Jallikattu is very popular in Tamil Nadu.
Supreme Court puts government’s Rohingya deportation plans on hold
The Centre in September 2017 termed Rohingyas refugees as illegal immigrants in an affidavit. The affidavit also said that some of the Rohingyas refugees were part of a sinister design of Pakistan’s ISI and terror groups such as ISIS. They also said that the presence of Rohingyas poses a serious national security threat.
The Supreme Court in October 2017 had deferred the deportation of Rohingya Muslim refugees from India till its next hearing and said that a humanitarian approach should be taken on the matter. The top court had reminded the government that it has multiple responsibilities, and must balance humanitarian and national values. It said that issue of Rohingya Muslims is of great magnitude and the state has a big role to play.
“The Constitution is based on humanitarian values. The state has a multi-pronged role. While national security and economic interests need to be secured, innocent women and children cannot be ignored,” the Supreme court had said.
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