SC on Shaheen Bagh: Indefinite Blocking of Public Road Not Permissible

Shaheen Bagh
Women and children have been keeping alive their protest against the contentious CAA Image:Twitter

Today the Supreme Court of India was scheduled to hear requests seeking to remove protestors from the Shaheen Bagh area as the protests are soon to complete two months. The protestors primarily composed of women from the Muslim community have been sustaining a sit-in around the clock for the last several weeks against the contentious CAA. 

The Supreme Court responded to the requests on the clearance of the Shaheen Bagh area and said that protestors didn’t have the right to indefinitely block the area and there cannot be indefinite protests on a public road. 

The Supreme Court said, “ The protests have gone on for a long time. They have the right to protest, but there can’t be an infinite period of protest in a common area. It may be in an area identified.”

Those who made petitions in the Supreme Court for the clearance of the Shaheen Bagh area said that the ongoing protests were causing traffic related problems, other than a host of inconveniences for people residing/commuting to that area. 

The case in this context is scheduled to resume on February 17. 

It has to be noted that hundreds of protestors primarily comprising of women and children have been sitting at Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi for nearly two months now against the Citizenship(Amendment )Act or the CAA and the National Register of Citizens(NRC) and the National Population Register(NPR).

The Supreme Court said that blocking a road for an indefinite period of time cannot be permitted and doing so may cause inconveniences for others, it also suggested conducting the protests at a designated area.

The Court however refused to deliver any interim orders and said that any final decision could only be derived at after all the sides had been heard. It also said that it would take up other PILs asking for restrictions on protest leading to obstruction of pubic places. 

Critics say that the protests have blocked the common road connecting Delhi to Noida, causing problems for hundreds of commuters. 

The Shaheen Bagh protests have gained the nation’s interests and have drawn activists, artists and celebrities along with thousands of ordinary men and women. Protestors fear that the implementation of the CAA along with the NRC will be used as a tool against undocumented muslims. 

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