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The right to protest cannot be anytime, anywhere: SC rejects Shaheen Bagh’s request for review | India News


NEW DELHI: The hopes of a dozen activists seeking review of the October 2020 Supreme Court ruling, which called the protest against the CAA in Shaheen Bagh “illegal,” faded again as they dismissed their petition for review, the higher court said that “the right to protest can not be anytime and anywhere.”
A three-judge bench made up of Justices SK Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari did not budge from the previous ruling.
“The right to protest cannot be anytime and anywhere. There may be some spontaneous protests but in case of dissent or protracted protest, there cannot be a continuous occupation of a public place that affects the rights of others,” he said the higher court, dismissing the petition for review presented. by Kaniz Fatima and 11 others.
The superior court also dismissed his request for an oral hearing of the petition for review in public hearing. “We have considered the previous judicial pronouncements and we have registered our opinion that the constitutional scheme comes with a right to protest and express disagreement but with the obligation of certain duties,” said the highest court.
In the October ruling, the high court made it clear that a protest was supposed to take place at designated locations and that the police have the right to expel protesters outside of designated locations. Making a critical observation, the high court had said at the time: “Shaheen Bagh’s protest may no longer remain the sole empowering voice of women, who also seemed not to have the ability to cancel the protest themselves.”
The Supreme Court said then that it cannot accept that an indeterminate number of people can meet each time it decides to protest, and cited the distinction between the way to dissent against the colonizers and the expression of dissent in a democratic system.
The high court had underlined that India dates back to when the seeds of protest were sown deeply during our fight for freedom, to finally blossom into a democracy.
“What must be kept in mind, however, is that the manner and manner of dissent against colonial rule cannot be equated with dissent in an autonomous democracy,” the highest court said in an October ruling.
The protest began on December 15, 2019 and ended only after a blockade imposed by the Center on March 24 of last year to curb the spread of Covid-19. The protest blocked the road and caused traffic jams in Shaheen Bagh, which was cited by Amit Sahni, a Delhi resident, who filed a PIL with the high court, resulting in the October 7 verdict.
In the petition for review, the petitioners had argued, “Prima facie the order under review appears to be giving way to an unrestricted penalty for the police to act abusing these observations.”
The petitioners argued that such observations could result in a license in the hands of the police to commit atrocities with a legitimate voice of protest, especially protesters from vulnerable sectors of the social strata.
Dismissing the review, the higher court said it has examined the “Petition for Review and the civil appeal record and are satisfied that the order for which review has been requested does not suffer from any apparent error justifying its reconsideration.”

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