Does SC Verdict on Shaheen Bagh Protest Impede Right to Assemble?
Does the SC verdict on clearing Shaheen Bagh protest hold the right to movement over the right to protest?
The right to dissent is fair and well but public spaces cannot be occupied indefinitely for demonstrations and in such cases the administration ought to take action — that was the Supreme Court's verdict on Shaheen Bagh style protests.
But what does that mean for our right to protest?
The Shaheen Bagh sit-in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill that was led by women began in December and carried on for over 100 days well up to the start of the lockdown mandated by the coronavirus pandemic.
While it gained momentum in the capital, petitions were filed in the Supreme Court seeking to remove the protesters alleging that their protest was hindering movement of traffic and affecting the right to free movement. And it is during the hearing of one such petition that the SC observed that there needs to be a balance between the right to protest and right to movement.
Although the SC verdict doesn't go against the protesters, it says that going forward such demonstrations of dissent have to be held in designated spaces. Legal experts are of the opinion that it not only violates international laws, but also merits scrutiny under Indian law.
Does this verdict impede the right to assemble? Does it hold the right to movement over the right to protest? Tune in to The Big Story!
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