Is right to protest absolute? Supreme Court to examine

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Updated: October 04, 2021 3:17 PM

The Centre today contended that there should be no further protests to avoid unfortunate incidents like the one that happened in Lakhimpur Kheri yesterday.

Reacting to the plea seeking permission for protest, the top court asked when the law has already been challenged in the court, then the group cannot be allowed to protest. (PTI)

The Supreme Court today issued notices to 43 farmers’ organisations after a PIL was filed against the blockade of roads between Delhi to Noida due to farmers’ protests. The notice was issued to make them parties in the case. The applicant has alleged that farmer’s protests have led to an increase in traffic hours.

In a related case, the court also agreed to examine whether the right to protest is absolute. Reacting to a petition by a farmers’ group seeking permission for holding a protest at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, the top court questioned that why are farmers protesting even after challenging the law in court? The court also said that it would examine whether the farmers had the right to protest when the matter is sub-judice. The plea was filed by a Rajasthan-based farmers group named Kisan Mahapanchayat. The group had sought permission from the court to hold a ‘Satyagraha’ with 200 farmers at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.

The next hearing will take place on October 21. The Centre today contended that there should be no further protests to avoid unfortunate incidents like the one that happened in Lakhimpur Kheri yesterday. “Nobody takes responsibility when such unfortunate incidents take place,” said the Supreme Court while referring to the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

Reacting to the plea seeking permission for protest, the top court asked when the law has already been challenged in the court, then the group cannot be allowed to protest. “You can’t come to court and then also protest outside? If the matter is already sub-judice, protests cannot be allowed,” said the court.

Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar asked the petitioner the reason for their protest when the government has already said that it’s not implementing the laws yet and there is a stay on it (farm laws).

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