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CAA, Shaheen Bagh, Supreme Court
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“Can’t Occupy Roads, Public Places Indefinitely: Supreme Court On Shaheen Bagh Protest

The Supreme Court had said everyone has the right to protest in a parliamentary democracy, but any public road cannot be blocked for a long time.

 

New Delhi| The Supreme Court has given its verdict regarding the issue of protest in public places raised after the Shaheen Bagh protest. The court has said that public places cannot be blocked for long. There should be a fixed-dedicated place for protest.

The Shaheen Bagh protest which went on for months against the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA saw a massive turnout and a road blockade. Many objected to the blocking of public place due to the protest.  The petitioner said in the Supreme Court that demonstrations in public places should be banned.

Here are 4 key points from the SC Hearing

  • The blocking of public places like Shaheen Bagh cannot be tolerated for protests.
  • Democracy and disagreement can go hand in hand.
  • The Delhi Police should have taken action to evacuate Shaheen Bagh. In such cases, officers should take action themselves. They cannot hide behind the courts, that they will take action only when an order comes.
  • The court had earlier said that there should be a balance in the right of protest and the right to commute.

Advocate Amit Sahni had filed a petition in this case. The court had reserved the judgment on 21 September. The court had said everyone has the right to protest in a parliamentary democracy, but any public road cannot be blocked for a long time.

Demonstrations against CAA started from 14th December in Shaheen Bagh, Delhi which lasted for more than 3 months. On February 17, the Supreme Court gave the responsibility to senior lawyers Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran to find a solution by talking to the protesters, but even after several rounds of discussion, the matter could not be reached to a conclusion. The demonstration was later called off on March 24 as lockdown came into effect to prevent Coronavirus spread.

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