The Supreme Court on Monday said the anti-CAA protesters at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh cannot block public roads and create inconvenience for others. The apex court issued notices to the Centre, Delhi government and the police on the pleas seeking removal protesters from Shaheen Bagh.
"There is a law and people have a grievance against it. The matter is pending in court. Despite what some people are protesting. They are entitled to protest," a bench comprising justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said. "You cannot block the public roads. There cannot be indefinite period of protest in such an area. if you want to protest, it has to be in an area identified for protest," the bench said.
The apex court further said that the protest at Shaheen Bagh is going on for long but it cannot create inconvenience for others. The bench said it would not pass any direction without hearing the other side and posted the matter for February 17. A day ahead of Delhi elections, the Supreme Court had said it would hear the pleas against protests at Shaheen Bagh on February 10. The top court said that it did not want to "influence" the Delhi assembly elections by hearing the matter on Friday. The top court was hearing the petitions filed by Amit Sahni and Nand Kishore Garg.
JP leader Nand Kishore Garg had urged the top court for an urgent hearing, considering the difficulty faced by residents due to the nearly-two-month-long protest on a road connecting Delhi and Noida. Also, various other arterial roads of Delhi have been facing traffic congestion due to the protest. Restrictions have been imposed on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and Okhla underpass since December 15, when hundreds of women sat on a protest against the amended law. It said a similar plea was filed by another litigant in the Delhi High Court, which on January 14 directed the local authority to deal with the situation. The litigant has filed an appeal in the top court against the high court order and sought supervision of the situation in Shaheen Bagh by a retired Supreme Court judge or a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court.