NEWS
17/02/2020 3:10 PM IST | Updated 17/02/2020 3:24 PM IST

Shaheen Bagh: SC Appoints Sanjay Hegde To Talk With Protesters About Alternate Protest Site

The top court said people have a right to protest but "thing which is troubling us is blocking of public roads".

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Women of Shaheen Bagh march towards Home Ministry to meet Home Minister Amit Shah over new citizenship law on February 16, 2020.

The Supreme Court on Monday appointed senior counsel Sanjay Hedge and advocate Sadhana Ramachandran to hold talks with protestors on moving the Shaheen Bagh protest to an alternate site where no public place is blocked. 

The bench comprising Justice Kaul and Justice KM Joseph suggested that the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Shaheen Bagh be shifted to an area earmarked for protests, such as Ramlila Maidan or Jantar Mantar.

“We are not saying that people don’t have the right to raise their concerns. The question is where to protest? Because if this continues on the roads today for this legislation, tomorrow it could be done for another legislation,” The Indian Express quoted Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul as saying.

Democracy works on expressing views but there are lines and boundaries for it, the top court said regarding the Shaheen Bagh protest. 

The court also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to look into any alternatives that can be agreed upon. The bench pointed out that there are certain places earmarked for protests like Ramlila Maidan and Jantar Mantar. 

NDTV reported that the top court told the lawyer, who represented the protesters, that they can continue their protest but not on a road that’s used by a large number of people everyday.

“Give us some time, we will do it,” the lawyer reportedly said.

The next date of hearing is February 24. 

Advocate Amit Sahni had filed an appeal in the apex court against the January 14 order of the high court directing the police to deal with the situation keeping in mind law and order. He had said that due to the protests since December 15 last year traffic flow on Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch has been badly affected.

READ: Shaheen Bagh’s Contagious Freedom Lets Us Imagine The Nation We Can Be

Former Delhi MLA Nand Kishore Garg had also filed a plea in the top court seeking directions to the authorities to remove the protestors from Shaheen Bagh.

Earlier, Sahni had approached the high court seeking directions to the Delhi Police to ensure smooth traffic flow on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch which has been blocked since December 15 last year due to protest at Shaheen Bagh.

(With PTI inputs)