Supreme Court Sends Strong Message On Shaheen Bagh Protest

A massive wave of protests had swept the nation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that cleared the Parliament in the year 2019.

Jessica David

October 8, 2020

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Protestors cannot occupy public places indefinitely, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday morning (October 7) in a hugely influential verdict on a batch of petitions against the anti-citizenship law protests at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that cleared the Parliament last year. A massive wave of protests had swept the nation against the CAA before the novel Coronavirus pandemic forced a majority of population indoors. “Dissent and democracy go hand in hand,” the top court observed, stressing that “protestors like these are not acceptable.”

“We have to make it clear that public places cannot be occupied indefinitely whether in Shaheen Bagh (in Delhi) or elsewhere. These sorts of protests (like Shaheen Bagh) are not acceptable and the authorities should act. They must keep such spaces free from obstruction,” the top court said, adding the “administration cannot wait for orders from the court to clear” the protest sites. “We appreciate the right to peacefully protest and it can be held at designated places only,” the court stressed.

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