New Delhi: The Supreme Court said Wednesday it cannot say repeatedly that protesters at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi have the right to protest but they cannot block roads.
The top court said it had tried to find an out-of-the-box solution by appointing interlocutors to persuade the protesters looking at the prevailing conditions but the of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph said that it did not have any idea as to how far it had succeeded.
“We have already said in earlier hearings and cannot repeatedly say that the protesters do have the right to protest but they cannot block the roads,” the bench said.
The top court remarks came after advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi, appearing for BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg, sought some interim order for removal of protesters from the road at Shaheen Bagh, stating that people are using their right to protest as a weapon and causing inconvenience to others.
“We have thought of something which was an out-of-the-box solution to the problem. However, we don’t know how far we have succeeded but we must say that the interlocutors have made every endeavour to do whatever necessary to find the solution. We appreciate their efforts,” the bench said.
The bench also informed that it had gone through the report of the two interlocutors, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and advocate Sadhana Ramachandran. It told the interlocutors that people at Shaheen Bagh have to come forward for the solution.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that interlocutors were asked by the court to persuade the protesters to vacate the road, not to find alternatives to the blocked roads.
To this, the bench said, the court order was very clear in this regard. “Their job was to instill confidence among the protesters that they have the right to protest but not at this place. We think they did their job well and we appreciate that,” the bench said.
It asked all the parties to maintain composure, saying that ‘this is not how the developing society works and behaves. There can be difference of opinion. People may have their contra view which can be debated. There has to be a manner of debate’.
The bench then referred the matter for further hearing March 23.