Sunday, June 4, 2023

Review petition filed against designated place of protest judgment of Supreme Court

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New Delhi (ILNS): More than a month after the Supreme Court ruled that public protests must be “in designated areas alone” and that “public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied, and that too indefinitely”, a review petition has been filed before it against the verdict given in the Shaheen Bagh protests case. The review petition says that propositions like ‘holding protests at designated places alone’ shall upset the ‘concept of dissent.’

On October 7 the bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari had held that right to peaceful protest against a legislation exists, but the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone. The bench also disapproved of the manner in which a sit-in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) was organised in Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, from December 2019 to March 2020.

The plea now submits: “The order under review holds that in the face of protests the administration can either engage in negotiations or take appropriate action. This would lead to a situation wherein, the administration would never engage in dialogue with protesters, protesting against a Government policy or action, but would instead take action against them including their prosecution.” 

To put any kind of curb on this freedom to show dissent leaves the citizens with no resort whatsoever to voice their concerns, says the plea.

Last month, the Supreme Court in its order had said that: “Democracy and dissent go hand in hand, but then the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone.”

The review petition has been filed through advocate Kabir Dixit.

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