The Supreme Court has declined to review its 2019 order on the Shaheen Bagh protests, observing that “the right to protest cannot be anytime and everywhere.” Shaheen Bagh in Delhi had turned the epicentre of anti-citizenship law protests in 2019.
In an order decided on February 9, which came only Friday night, a three-judge bench of Justices SK Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari said that there cannot be continued occupation of public place affecting rights of others.
“The right to protest cannot be anytime and everywhere. There may be some spontaneous protests but in case of prolonged dissent or protest, there cannot be continued occupation of public place affecting rights of others,” the bench said in its latest order.
The Supreme Court had in 2019 held that protests expressing dissent must be held in the designated place while hearing a case on the Shaheen Bagh protests, a collective of mostly women and children who held demonstrations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act for nearly three months before it was called off in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
A petition was filed last year by 12 activists seeking a review of the judgment.
This comes at a time when thousands of farmers have been staging a months-long protest at multiple borders of Delhi. The women protesters of Shaheen Bagh had sought a joint hearing of the pending review plea along with farm laws petitions in the top court.