‘You can’t block entire city’: SC to Shaheen Bagh

NEW DELHI: Making a significant observation on Shaheen Bagh protests, the Supreme Court, on Monday, said “you can’t block public roads indefinitely”, and the “protests can’t continue like this on public places”.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph issued notices to Delhi Police and scheduled the next hearing on February 17.

Justice Kaul said the protests have gone into many days, there must a designated area to protest, “you just cannot block the road. There cannot be indefinite period of protest in public area. Then, everybody will protest everywhere”, added Kaul.

The apex court observed that protests cannot be carried out at the cost of citizens’ interest.

The observation from the apex court came after counsel for Bhim Army Chief Chandershekhar Azad contended that the matter is about balancing rights.

Justice Joseph also agreed with this observation on blocking a public road. “Can you block the public road”, said Justice Joseph.

Justice Kaul also observed that protests cannot be carried out in parks too, and there should be defined area to hold protests.

Advocate Amit Sahni had moved the apex court seeking directions to the authorities to remove the blockade on the Shaheen Bagh stretch, a main road connecting Kalindi Kunj and Noida.

The protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) is continuing since December 15.

Chandrashekhar Azad has announced that he would now intensify the ongoing agitation against CAA-NRC-NPR.

Chandrashekhar, who was in Varanasi to attend the Ravidas Jayanti celebrations at Seer Govardhanpur on Sunday, told reporters that, “No court has barred me from holding agitation. In a democratic set-up, I am free to go anywhere I want. I am frequenting Shaheen Bagh (in Delhi) and Bhim Army volunteers are there for the security of women protesters.”