The Supreme Court today said that there is a need to balance the right to protest and block roads and that there cannot be a “universal policy” as the situation may be “different” from case-to-case.
The apex court’s observation came last December when it reserved a judgment on a batch of pleas against the CAA opposing the blocking of a road in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.
The condition later returned to normal due to coronovirus epidemics and subsequent observation of the protocol.
The bench of Justices SK Kaul, Anirudh Bose and Krishna Murari said, “There were some observational circumstances that came into play. God Almighty intervened.”
The bench noted the submission of lawyers: “We have to balance the right to protest and block roads. We have to deal with this issue. There cannot be a universal policy as the situation may vary depending on the case.” .
“In a parliamentary democracy, there can be protests in Parliament and on the streets. But on the streets, it needs to be peaceful.”
Amit Sahni, one of the lawyers who filed the petition in the case, said that such protests should not have been allowed in large public interest.
“It was allowed to continue for more than 100 days and people faced difficulties. Such an incident should not have taken place.” Chakka Jam “was organized in Haryana yesterday. Closed “is also called. 25,” he said.
Advocate for an intervention, Mahmood Pracha, said it was right to protest peacefully and some members of a political party went to the spot and “caused” the riots.
He said, “We have the right to protest. The machinery of the state is not sacred. Members of a political party along with the police created the situation.”
Opposing the verdict, the bench said that it had appointed negotiators as an experiment and suggested some remedies that could be considered.
It said that the use of sending interlocutors may or may not be successful and the situation on COVID-19 may also be affected.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Center, said that the right to protest cannot be absolute and some decisions are to be taken on it.
The apex court had earlier heard a petition filed by former BJP MLAs Nand Kishore Garg and Ashutosh Dubey against the CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh after the February 8 Delhi assembly elections.
Amit Sahni had approached the Delhi Police to the High Court to ensure smooth traffic flow on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh section, which was stopped by anti-CAA protesters from 15 December.
The High Court had urged the local authorities to deal with the situation keeping in view the law and order situation.
Amit Sahni has filed a special leave petition in the apex court against the High Court order.
The plea has directed the police to ensure smooth traffic flow on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch.
It has sought to supervise the situation in Shaheen Bagh, where many women were protesting by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court to stop any violence.
Separately, Mr. Garg petitioned the Supreme Court seeking direction to the authorities to remove the protesters from Shaheen Bagh.
The Kanadi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and Okhla underpass, which were closed on 15 December last year, were banned due to opposition from CAI and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Mr Garg’s petition states that various other roads in Delhi are facing traffic problems due to protests in Shaheen Bagh.
Stating that the law enforcement machinery has been “held hostage to the whims and imaginations of protesters”, the petition calls for guidelines for protests to disrupt public spaces.
“It is disappointing that the state machinery is silent and a silent spectator to the hooliganism and vandalism of protesters, who are threatening the existential efficacy of democracy and the rule of law and have already taken the law and order situation into their own hands” Have been, ”said Dalil.
It said that Shaheen Bagh’s opposition was “undoubtedly within the constitutional parameters”, but it lost its legitimacy as constitutional protection was “being unnecessarily and shamelessly violated and violated”.
It is the duty of the state to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens, who are facing problems due to road blockages.
“Therefore, there is an urgent need that abuse and misuse should not be allowed in public places for abusive and malicious purposes, such as protests against constitutional amendments in the heart of the capital city and thus for the common people. The cause of insurmountable difficulty and hardships. People, “it said.