SC: Shaheen Bagh protestors can’t block public roads, create inconvenience for others

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The Supreme Court of India on Monday, February 10 issued notices to the Delhi Police, Central and Delhi Governments responding to petitions seeking removal of protesters from Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh and clearance of Kalindi Kunj Road which are literally blocked by anti-CAA protests for over 55 days. The 2-Judge Bench will hear the case on Monday, February 17. In the previous hearing, the Division Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph had deferred the hearing on account of the Delhi assembly elections. On February 10, the Bench suggested that there needs to be an identified area for carrying out protests of this nature. It also questioned whether a public road can be blocked in this manner. Justice Kaul observed, Shruti Mahajan reports in the Bar & Bench.The Supreme Court said the anti-CAA protesters at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh cannot block public roads and create inconvenience for others. The apex court issued notices to the Centre, Delhi government and the police on the pleas seeking removal protesters from Shaheen Bagh. There is a law and people have a grievance against it. The matter is pending in court. Despite that some people are protesting. They are entitled to protest.” You cannot block the public roads. There cannot be indefinite period of protest in such an area. If you want to protest, it has to be in an area identified for protest,” the Bench said. The apex court further said that the protest at Shaheen Bagh is going on for long but it cannot create inconvenience for others. The bench said it would not pass any direction without hearing the other side and posted the matter for February 17. Meanwhile, it is alleged ignorant about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizen (NRC), school children as well as women belonging to minority community have joined anti-CAA protest as they feel that they would be transferred into detention centres. Interestingly, hate speeches and some anti-national slogans were raised by some protestors, said some BJP leaders. Delhi Police are hesitant to physically remove the protestors apprehending repercussion despite The Delhi High Court has put the onus of clearing the area near the famed Jamia Milia Islamia University. Business people complain of incurring losses. Students and office goers complain of being forced to detour daily causing delay in reaching their destinations. The first petition has been filed by lawyer and activist, Amit Sahni. Sahni has prayed for certain specific directions for the removal of the blockage at the protest site. Sahni also seeks for the situation to be monitored or supervised by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a retired judge of the Delhi High Court in order “to circumvent any violence”. The second petition has been filed by BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg. He has sought the removal of protesters from the site on Kalindi Kunj Road. The Shaheen Bagh protest against CAA, NPR and undeclared NRC have unnerved the undocumented people fearing of being expelled out of India despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s repeated announcements that the objective of CAA and NPR is not intended to deprive any person of his/ her citizenship. The amended citizenship law-CAA-is intended to grant citizenship to non-Muslims who have to leave their ancestral homes Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before 2015.

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