SC appoints senior advocate Sanjay Hegde to talk to Shaheen Bagh protesters about alternate protest site

The Supreme Court today said that people have a fundamental right to protest peacefully and lawfully but blocking public roads is a matter of concern as it might lead to a chaotic situation. It stressed that there has to be a balancing factor. The court was hearing pleas over the roadblocks due to the ongoing protests at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

A bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph said, democracy works on expressing views, but there are lines and boundaries for it. The court said, the blockade of the public road at Shaheen Bagh is troubling them and suggested that the anti-CAA protesters go to another site where no public place would be blocked.

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The top court asked Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde to play a constructive role as an interlocutor to persuade the protesters to move to an alternative site. It said Mr Hegde can take assistance of Advocate Sadhana Ramachandran and former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah for talking to the protesters.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who was appearing for Delhi Government and Delhi Police told the court that the solution is to remove these protesters from the site. The bench also asked the Solicitor General whether an alternative site can be given to the protesters to hold their agitation.

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The next hearing in this matter has been scheduled for the 24th of February.

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