Shaheen Bagh: The Supreme Court on Wednesday made a tough remark on the decision to block public places during protests. The Supreme Court said public places cannot be performed indefinitely.
The court’s decision has come to disrupt road traffic while opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) by protestors at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi. It may be recalled that during these protests, a dharna was being staged by the protestors on the road, which led to the hardships faced by the people coming from this road.
During the hearing, the Apex court said it is not acceptable to occupy public places like Shaheen Bagh for protests. The Delhi police should have taken action to remove the people from the Shaheen Bagh area. Public places cannot be occupied indefinitely, as happened during protests in Shaheen Bagh, the court said.
The court said, the authorities will have to take action themselves and they cannot hide behind the courts. Democracy and dissent go together. A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kaul said that under the law, demonstrations are not allowed under the right to occupy public roads and public places.
Reading the operative part of the judgment, the justices said, “Public places cannot be occupied indefinitely, whether it is Shaheen Bagh or any other place.” The bench said the right to protest is an official guarantee under the Constitution, but the protests should be in the designated areas after proper approval from the concerned authorities.
The bench was delivering its verdict on the plea of advocate Amit Sahni, who accused the Delhi police and the administration of inaction in removing the public road demonstration in the Shaheen Bagh area of Delhi.
Sahni in his plea pointed out the inconvenience caused to millions of commuters due to blocking of road connecting Delhi with other cities in the National Capital Region (NCR). It said that the administration should keep public places free from barriers and they cannot wait for a court order nor hold endless talks with the protestors.
Public roads and places cannot be occupied indefinitely by protesters says Supreme Court on petitions seeking guidelines and other directions on the right to protest, in wake of Shaheen Bagh protest pic.twitter.com/TXlpEgiLul
— ANI (@ANI) October 7, 2020
Shaheen Bagh’s performance lasted for three months
Let us say that the anti-CAA demonstrations started from December 14 at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi, which lasted for about three months. The Supreme Court on February 17 tasked senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran to address the issue by talking to the protestors. There were several rounds of talks between the two sides, but no conclusions were found. Later, the lockdown came into force due to corona and the demonstration stopped on March 24.