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Shaheen Bagh: Protesting Is A Fundamental Right, But?

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 17, Feb 2020, 17:59 pm IST | UPDATED: 17, Feb 2020, 17:59 pm IST

Shaheen Bagh: Protesting Is A Fundamental Right, But? Delhi: Hearing pleas over the roadblocks due to the ongoing protests at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Supreme Court on Monday said "Right to protest is a fundamental right, across the countries", but the blocking of public roads is a matter of concern and there has to be a balancing factor. Democracy works on expressing views but there are lines and boundaries for it, the court said.

A bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said its concern is about what will happen if people start protesting on roads. People have a fundamental right to protest but the thing which is troubling us is blocking of public roads, the bench said.

The apex court also appointed senior lawyers Sanjay Hegde, Sadhna Ramachandran and former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah to go and talk to protesters at Shaheen Bagh area to convince them to hold the agitation at an alternative site.

The next hearing in the matter has fixed further on February 24.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that let a message not go that every institution is on its knees trying to persuade Shaheen Bagh protestors on this issue.

If nothing works, we will leave it to the authorities to deal with the situation, the apex court said.

The court was hearing two petitions seeking clearance of Shaheen Bagh, Kalindi Kunj road where the protest is going for nearly two months. Restrictions have been imposed on the Kaindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and the Okhla underpass, which were closed on December 15 last year due to the protests against CAA and Register of Citizens.

The Shaheen Bagh area of Delhi had lately gained nationwide attention due to a continued anti-CAA sit-in by people, especially Muslim women against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register and National Register of Citizens.
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