Protests Rule: The SC Asks Not To Block Roads And Other Public Places During Processions

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Harsirat Kaur
Harsirat Kaur
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Protests rule of the Supreme Court keeping in view the extent of protest at Shaheen Bagh restricts blocking of roads. The protests which the public start orchestrating usually hinder other people as well. The public places soon transform into jammed transmission routes. This is why the top court of India ruled out that the people should carry out protests in designated places only. This means that places like Shaheen Bagh or other infrastructural capacities will not form a gathering place for people. The protests which stemmed due to the Citizenship Amendment Act in February posed a lot of headache to the normal people. Petitions regarding that have been on the roll in the Court and on Wednesday, it finally gave this protest rule.

SC gives no public place blocking protests rule
Source: NewD

A three-judge Bench panel gave the protests rule

A three-judge-bench including Justice SK Kaul, Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Krishna Murari deliberated the same. They said that staging protests are a constitutional right, however, the public should also exercise democratic provisions. The judging panel headed by Justice Kaul ruled out that public places will not be occupied for demonstrations. The rule, where acknowledges the legitimacy of demonstrations, also addresses others who are not a part of it.

SC protests rule panel
Source: Live Law

The protests rule further permitted the authorities to keep the areas clear of “encroachments or obstructions”. This also concluded the petitions who asked the SC to look into the matter of police removing people from the sites. The quotation of Pulitzer Prize winner Walter Lippman came into the application with it. The quote says that in a democracy, the opposition is not tolerated as constitutional, but maintained because it is indispensable.

Quoting Justices panel of the SC

Justice SK Kaul while giving protests rule, said, “Democracy ad dissent go hand in hand, but demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone.”

Clarifying their verdict, they stated that the decision fermented from the CAA protests petitions. In this, the blockage of public places caused obstacles to the commuters. Hence, the three-judge panel restated that an indeterminable number of people cannot assemble to pretest wherever they want. Article 19(1)(a) gives the fundamental right of speech. However, Article 19(1)(b) also poses reasonable restrictions that the government can impose to maintain public law and order. Therefore, the rule to not hold protests in a public place comes into action. Furthermore speaking on the police brutality, the Court said, “The courts adjudicate the legality of actions and are not meant to give a shoulder to the administration to fire their guns from.”

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