Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the jurisdiction of Civil Courts, which have been ousted from the new farm bill and said that the bill is more detrimental to lawyers and litigants.
"Your good self is aware of the Bills relating to farmers passed in the recently concluded monsoon session of the Parliament. This has led to a massive country-wide agitation by the farmers raising apprehensions about their workability and modus operandi. We feel deeply concerned about these developments. To our utter surprise, on perusal of various provisions of these Bills, it is detrimental to lawyers and litigants, as revealed that they are more the jurisdiction of Civil Courts have been ousted and debarred from entertaining any matter pertaining to the subject matter under both bills," read the letter written by BCD member Rajiv Khosla to the Prime Minister.
"We cannot lose sight of the fact that these are not routine bills but have wider implications, as the broadly extended scope of new areas included in the bills are substantially related to commercial activities. Introduction of sponsors, LLPS, Partnership Firms etc, in addition to the establishment of Electronic Trading and Transaction Platform; execution of Farming Agreement; Trade and Commerce Agreements, apart from permitting a free market to sell agriculture produce in any part of the country, are a few of areas covered," the letter further read.
BCD said that it is a "mockery of the judiciary" and a step in reverse direction to hand over judicial power to executive.
"Worst is the conciliatory clause to be part of farming agreements. The provisions have been inserted surreptitiously without any knowledge, information and consultation with the official bodies of the lawyers and other stakeholders, although they have a tremendous adverse effect on existing rights of the advocates and litigants," said the letter.
According to the new Bill, "no civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of any matter, the cognizance of which can be taken and disposed of by any authority empowered by or under this Act or the rules made there under."
Therefore, BCD has appealed to the government not to enforce and make applicable such offending provisions under all these three bills, which may be deleted.
"We also appeal to lawyers' statutory and voluntary bodies to stand together in this hour of crisis, when we are already in great difficulty due to pandemic and raise their voice to save the Institution, the lawyers and the litigants," BCD said.
( With inputs from ANI )
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