NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said Right to Protest of one section has to be in balance with others' Right to Mobility on a public road, as everyone has the right to move from one place to another and this right cannot be prejudiced by blocking a public road to hold protests.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Krishna Murari and Aniruddha Bose after nearly a gap of seven months took up the pleas against the anti-CAA protesters blocking the public road at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi.
At the beginning of the hearing the bench queried the petitioners if they were willing to withdraw the plea. One of the petitioners replied that they were not.
Advocate Amit Sahni, another petitioner in the matter, argued that these kind of incidents should not repeat in future and in the larger public interest a decision must be taken in the matter.
Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for intervenors, argued before the bench that right to peacefully protest is absolute, and it is the right of the people to protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens as a concept.
Justice Kaul said we are not disputing your right to peacefully protest. Sahni urged the bench to keep this matter pending and an elaborate order may be passed.
Pracha submitted that "some people went to the protest place and then riots happened, and I don't want to name them". He added that the number of protesters cannot be shown in bad light by misusing the state machinery.
"It is not that state machinery is absolutely right. Why a person connected with a political party went their and riots happened," argued Pracha, citing need for a universal policy on right to protest peacefully.
Justice Bose replied that the right to protest needs to be balanced out with the mobility on public road. Justice Kaul said there cannot be a universal policy as situation vary and cited process of debate in the Parliament. (IANS)