The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ruled that public spaces and roads cannot be occupied indefinitely by protestors and that dissent and democracy must go hand in hand.
A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul passed the verdict on batch of petitions against the anti-CAA protests in the national capital’s Shaheen Bagh.
The court also said that authorities must ensure that such spaces are cleared.
“Dissent and democracy must go hand in hand but protests should be confined to designated areas,” said Justice SK Kaul.
The top court order has come on pleas seeking removal of protesters from Shaheen Bagh area of the national capital that witnessed months of occupation of an arterial road, causing inconvenience to the commuters between Delhi and Noida.
Reserving the verdict, the Supreme Court on Monday had said that the right to protest needs to be balanced with the mobility of people on a public road, as a person has a right to move from one place to another and this right cannot be prejudiced by the blocking of public road to hold protest.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Krishna Murari and Aniruddha Bose took up the matter in September after a gap of nearly seven months.
(With inputs from agencies)