Legal News

Occupying Public Places Like Shaheen Bagh Not Acceptable: Supreme Court

Blocking of road by Shaheen Bagh protesters unacceptable, says a Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday found the indefinite “occupation” of a public road by the Shaheen Bagh protestors unacceptable.

The court said the protest, considered an iconic dissent mounted by mothers, children and senior citizens of Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), became inconvenient to commuters.

The 13-page judgment upheld the right to peaceful protest against law but made it unequivocally clear that public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied, and that too indefinitely. 

“Democracy and dissent go hand in hand, but then the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone. The present case was not even one of the protests taking place in an undesignated area, but was a blockage of a public way which caused grave inconvenience to commuters”, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, who authored the verdict for a three-judge Bench, observed.

The court suggested that the outcry may have even gone out of hand for the women protesters. It referred to reports about how women were ensconced inside a tent while a “huge periphery” of “male protesters, volunteers and bystanders”, who wanted the blockade to continue, milled around.

While the tent occupied half the road, the other half was blocked by a three-dimensional map of India, a large model of India Gate and even a library. Factors like the absence of leadership and many “influencers” and groups working at cross-purposes saw the movement slip out of the hands of the women of Shaheen Bagh.

“Thus, the Shaheen Bagh protest perhaps no longer remained the sole and empowering voice of women, who also appeared to no longer have the ability to call off the protest themselves. There was also the possibility of the protesters not fully realising the ramifications of the pandemic, coupled with a general unwillingness to relocate to another site”, the court observed.

Source: The Hindu

Categories:Legal News

2 replies »

  1. Public space occupation is against public decency in any civilized society including india. Religion Islam is little more strict in such situation and even prohibits offering nimaz on public spaces. Since Shaheen bagh occupation in regard to protest assumed political dimension beyond law appreciation, thus, it’s two way negative impact remained media and public visible:first protest was regarded as community cofined, second, protest assumed unlawful position of causing public obstruction was again intended to be seen within communal angle. Yet, on legal basis certain legislations passed are community based thus categorised against the secular and diviesity ethos of Indian culture. CCA is egislations which has inherent contradictions and failure elements to rationalise it legislation on composite culture of India, even, legislation regarding over staying after visa expiry is communal focused in as much as guilty person other than Muslim for unlawful over stay in India is supposed to pay ₹200 as fine, while for Muslim for same offence is 400dollors..proportion goes increasing for longer periodicity for Muslim voilator alone, same is case with CCA. Honble supreme Court is right to hold that protest howsoever, genuine can’t be against public convience, yet, most of citizens like me humbly feel that honble supreme Court to take judicial notice of laws which are community focuses and having strong mobility to create social pungents than cordiality and harmony.

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  2. I am suneetha llb Sri krishna devaraya university. occupying public place like shaheen baggy not acceptable supreme court .the shaheen bagh protest led by women that began in response to the passage or the citizenship amended act caa in both houses of the parliament of India on December 2019 the ensuing police investigation agents students .

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