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Shaheen Bagh Protests: Interlocutors File Report, SC Defers Hearing To Wednesday

MEHAL JAIN
24 Feb 2020 7:13 AM GMT
Shaheen Bagh Protests: Interlocutors File Report, SC Defers Hearing To Wednesday
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The Supreme Court on Monday deferred to February 26 the hearing on a plea seeking clearance of road blockade due to the sit-in protests at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi. 

Last week, the bench of Justices S. K. Kaul and K. M. Joseph had set up a mediation team helmed by Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde to hold talks with the protesters. The court had made it clear that Hegde may choose Advocate Sadhana Ramachandran or any other person of his choice to "make the persons at site see reason".

Submitting their report in a sealed cover to the court, Ms. Ramachandran expressed her gratitude to the bench for the "opportunity" to act as an interlocutor, saying that it was a "learning experience".

The bench then announced that it would need 2 days' time to peruse the report, posting the matter for Wednesday.

When the petitioner sought a copy of the report, the bench was of the view that it remain confidential for the time being- "The purpose of an interlocutor is different...their report is only for our record"

On February 17, The Court observed that the mere fact that the Supreme Court was considering the constitutional challenge against CAA will not take away the right to protest of the persons who feel aggrieved by the legislation.

"However, the question is where and how protest can carry on without public ways being blocked. Our concern is more than this matter alne, as there may be persons of different points of view who may tomorrow seek to emulate this protest, such scenario only leads to chaotic situation. This must cease on public ways everywhere", the bench said in the order.

The Court was hearing the petitions filed by lawyer Amit Sahni and Nand Kishore Garg seeking clearance of Shaheen Bagh protests, which had been going on for over sixty days against Citizenship Amendment Act and proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens.

The bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph observed that the mere fact that the Supreme Court was considering the constitutional challenge against CAA will not take away the right to protest of the persons who feel aggrieved by the legislation.

"However, the question is where and how protest can carry on without public ways being blocked. Our concern is more than this matter alne, as there may be persons of different points of view who may tomorrow seek to emulate this protest, such scenario only leads to chaotic situation. This must cease on public ways everywhere", the bench said in the order.

After that, Hegde along with Advocate Sadhana Ramachandran had held talks with the protesters.

Former CIC Wajahat Habibullah had filed an affidavit in the Court saying that the protests were done peacefully out of genuine apprehension of the protesters about the adverse impact of CAA-NRC on their lives. It was also stated in the affidavit that most of the inconvenience is caused by the unnecessary barricading of parallel roads by the police.

Yesterday, the road from Jamia to Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad in Haryana was reopened by the Shaheen Bagh protesters.  

The Shaheen Bagh protests, without any visible leader, are held by mostly women, who have been doing a round the clock sit-in against the CAA-NRC for over fifty days.

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