Protest ok, but can't hold city to ransom: Supreme Court

The suggestion that the court reach out to protesters was made by the lawyer who appeared for Bhim Army leader Chandra Shekhar Azad. The bench will hear the case again on next Monday, by which mediators have been asked to return with a solution to...

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday appointed emissaries to negotiate with protesters in Shaheen Bagh, insisting citizens had the right to protest but no right to hold the city to ransom by blocking a key road, which has inconvenienced ordinary citizens and disrupted essential services.

Hearing petitions of BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg and advocate Amit Sahni, which sought SC’s intervention to remove protesters on a sit-in against the government’s CAANPR and NRC processes, since December 15, 2019, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph asked senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and advocate Sadhana Ramachandran to persuade protesters to shift to an alternate venue.

The suggestion that the court reach out to protesters was made by the lawyer who appeared for Bhim Army leader Chandra Shekhar Azad. The bench will hear the case again on next Monday, by which mediators have been asked to return with a solution to stave off government action against protesters should they choose not to move from the spot. “Otherwise it is over to the government. Reasoning must prevail,” said Justice Kaul.

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