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The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court while quashing the order passed by the Additional District Magistrate against allowing protests in Maharashtra’s Beed said that the anti-CAA protesters cannot be called as traitors, anti-nationals just because they want to oppose one law.

A division bench comprising of Justices TV Nalawade and MG Sewlikar was hearing a petition filed by one Iftekhar Zakee Shaikh, whose request to hold peaceful demonstrations at old Idgah Maidan in Majalgaon, District Beed was rejected by the Additional District Magistrate, citing operation Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The bench while quashing the order passed under Section 144 to prohibit protests and demonstrations of countrywide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, said that the officers from bureaucracy, who are vested with powers to maintain law and order, need to be sensitized by imparting proper training on human rights, incorporated as fundamental rights under the Constitution.

The court further stated that the agitators against CAA cannot be labeled as traitors or ant-nationals.

Citing the victory of Indian Independence against the British rule, by the protestors led by Mahatma Gandhi, the Court said “India got freedom due to agitations which were non-violent and this path of non-violence is followed by the people of this country till this date.”

The bench further observed that “If a person agitating believe that it is against the ‘equality’ provided under Article 14, they have the right to express their feelings as provided under Article 19 of the Constitution of India.”

“We are a democratic republic country and our constitution has given us the rule of law and not a rule of the majority. The Courts are bound to see whether these persons have the right to agitate, oppose the law,” stated the court.

Allowing the above petition, the court granted permission to the petitioners who were seeking permission to sit at a location for an indefinite agitation without raising any slogans against the country, any religion, or unity and integrity of the nation.

Earlier, on 13 February, the Karnataka High Court held the order imposed in last December in Bangalore as illegal which was passed in lieu of Section 144.

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