As per sources, the women who protested at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act have moved the Supreme Court seeking a joint hearing of the pending review of the October 2020 judgment on their protests, alongside the cases dealing with protests against the new farm laws.
“The judgment in review is essentially in relation to the right of citizens to protest against the policies of the government. While dealing with the said issue, the judgment in review, this Hon’ble Court has made certain observations and given some findings in relation to the said right to protest and as per the present petitioner/applicant, the observations so made, take away the fundamental right to protest and upset the very concept of dissent which is one of the foundations on which our democracy stands,” read the petition.
A review petition of the October 2020 judgment is still pending, and therefore, the present plea seeks to club the review with the ongoing pleas challenging protests against the farm laws. A three-judge bench had then observed that police have a right to clear demonstrators from public places.
“We have, thus, no hesitation in concluding that such kind of occupation in public ways, whether at the site in question or anywhere else for protests, is not acceptable and the administration ought to take action to keep the areas clear of encroachment of obstructions,” the SC bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari said in the October 2020 judgment.
Therefore, with the present petition, the petitioners argued that there is a contrasting view on the legality and extent of the right to protest at public places during the ongoing farmers’ protest pursuant to the observation made by a CJI led bench.