SC postpones hearing pleas against protest at Shaheen Bagh to Feb 10

Don't want protest case to influence Delhi Assembly polls, top court tells petitioners

As per early trends, Aam Aadmi Party has taken a comfortable lead over its closest rival BJP. Photo: PTI file

Observing that it does not want to influence the Delhi assembly polls, scheduled for Saturday (February 8), the Supreme Court, on Friday, said that it would hear pleas against protests at Shaheen Bagh on February 10.

“We understand there is a problem and we have to see how to resolve it. We will take it up on Monday. We will be in a better position by then,” a bench comprising justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph said.

When an advocate appearing for one of the petitioners said that voting for Delhi election is scheduled on February 8, the bench said, “That is exactly why we are saying come on Monday. Why should we influence it?”

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The bench also asked the petitioners to come prepared on Monday to argue on why the matter should not be remitted back to the Delhi High Court.

The protesters at Shaheen Bagh, of which a large number are women, have been opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed on December 12 that seeks to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

In the run-up to Delhi Assembly election, BJP leaders, including senior ministers in the Narendra Modi government, have branded the Shaheen Bagh protesters as ‘anti-nationals’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier trained his guns on protests at Shaheen Bagh, Jamia and Seelampur, saying that they all were an ‘experiment’ and a political conspiracy to destroy the country’s harmony.

While the Congress leaders have termed it a democratic protest, BJP ministers have been repeatedly criticising the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of ‘sponsoring’ the anti-CAA protests in the national capital.

(With inputs from agencies)

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