Written by Ananthakrishnan G
| New Delhi |

Updated: February 18, 2020 7:02:42 am


The protest towards the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Shaheen Bagh. (Express picture)

Acknowledging that individuals have a basic right to protest, the Supreme Court Monday appointed two advocates as interlocutors with the mandate to persuade anti-CAA protesters at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi to finish their blockade of a public highway. The court docket will hear the matter subsequent on February 24.

The bench of Justices S Ok Kaul and Ok M Joseph mentioned one set of individuals taking to public roads to air their grievance can encourage others to comply with go well with and this may in the end lead to chaos. Democracy, the judges mentioned, is about expression of views however “there are lines and boundaries” for it.

“Certain section of society is aggrieved by a legislation which is being tested in this court. We are not saying that despite pendency of matter, people will not have the right to air their grievance or protest. Question arising is where to protest… Whether traffic can be managed better here or there is not the question. It cannot be a place like this. If today some people, tomorrow some other people may do it. Different portions of city can be blocked by people who may have their grievance…. If everyone starts coming on road, you know Delhi…It will lead to chaos,” Justice Kaul mentioned.

Hearing two PILs — one by Advocate Amit Sahni and one other by Delhi BJP chief Nand Kishore Garg — which highlighted difficulties on account of protesters occupying a highway in Shaheen Bagh, the bench mentioned the way in which out might be for somebody to attempt to persuade the agitators to transfer out, could also be to an recognized location. It requested Delhi Police to counsel alternate options.

The court docket deputed senior advocate Sanjay Hedge and advocate Sadhana Ramachandran to speak to the Shaheen Bagh protesters and persuade them to shift. Appearing for Delhi Police, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the message mustn’t exit that each one establishments are on their knees and are requesting the protesters to transfer.

At Shaheen Bagh, protesters say open to mediation however received’t vacate web site of sit-in

The bench mentioned if nothing works out, “we will leave it to authorities. We are hopeful that some reason will prevail”.

A lawyer showing for Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah who needed to intervene within the matter mentioned there’s extra to the matter than meets the attention. She mentioned the visitors congestion is as a result of police had closed a parallel highway.

At this, Justice Kaul mentioned “my concern is not a better traffic route. If everybody starts blocking roads and entering public spaces, may be for genuine causes, where does it end?… You have made your point of view. We are not saying you stop making your point of view, But this kind of protest happening on a public street?”

“Democracy works on expressing views but there are lines and boundaries for it,” Justice Kaul mentioned, including there should be a balancing issue or it might get chaotic. “Someone may get ideas. Somebody who is not on the same page today,” Justice Kaul mentioned.

One of the petitioners then mentioned there have been plans to replicate Shaheen Bagh in 5,000 areas throughout the nation. “We are not concerned whether 1,000 sites are created as long as long as public roads are not blocked,” Justice Kaul mentioned.

The petitioners alleged that the Delhi Police had not carried out something to take away the blockade. The bench then put the question to Mehta on why no motion was taken within the final two months. “You don’t need our certificate,” mentioned Justice Kaul mentioned. “It is needed,” replied Mehta, including that each one sorts of allegations had been being made towards police. The court docket then requested what, in accordance to police, was the answer. Mehta mentioned the “solution is only remove”. He mentioned “children and women are being used as shield”. The petitioners then sought interim instructions.

Justice Joseph mentioned, “We have decided to examine. Let us give them some time.” He mentioned folks had a basic right to protest and it was mandatory to permit folks to protest. Intervening, Mehta urged Justice Joseph not to say that protests had been higher than judicial evaluate. Justice Kaul mentioned there was no absolute licence within the title of protests. “We have a duty to perform. We will do it. Some may like it, some not. But we will not play to any agenda this side or that side,” Justice Kaul mentioned.

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