'Protest, but can't block city': 10 observations by CJI while hearing plea against farmers' protest
First Published Dec 17, 2020, 3:35 PM IST
The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that while it recognises the fundamental right of the farmers to protest, but they cannot block a city in the process. While hearing the petition seeking the removal of farmers from Delhi's border areas, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde made some pertinent observations. Let's take a look:
CJI SA Bobde: "We recognize fundamental right to protest and no question of balance to curtail it. But it should not cause damage to someone's life."
CJI SA Bobde: "Can the Union say if no executive action will be taken under the laws in order to facilitate the negotiations"
CJI SA Bobde: "We acknowledge that farmers have a right to protest. We will not interfere in it, but the manner of protest is something we will look into. We will ask the Centre in what way the manner of protest can be altered."
CJI SA Bobde: "Protest is constitutional till it does not destroy property or endanger life. Protest has a goal and that purpose cannot be achieved by sitting in protest. Centre and farmers have to talk. We will facilitate it."
CJI SA Bobde: "We are thinking of an impartial and independent committee before whom both parties can give its side of story. The committee will give a finding which should be followed. The protest, meanwhile, cannot endanger life or destroy property"
CJI SA Bobde: "We don't have to learn non violent protest from anyone else. Protest must be about issues in which the aggrieved party may be allowed to articulate."
CJI SA Bobde: "We are thinking of an independent committee with members who will hear both sides and meanwhile protest will continue in a non-violent fashion. You cannot instigate violence too by police. You cannot block a city like this. The committee can have P Sainath, Bhartiya Kisan Union and others."
CJI SA Bobde: "Court cannot predict which mob can become violent. It depends on intelligence reports based on which the police acts. Whether the mob should be allowed to enter arrest must be left to the authorities to decide and not for the court to decide."
CJI SA Bobde: "We are also Indian. We are familiar to plight of farmers and sympathetic to the cause. You have to only alter the way it is going. We will ensure you can plead your case and, thus, we are thinking of the committee."
CJI SA Bobde: "Farmers protest in 1997 near Boat Club had the potential to destroy everything, but fortunately nothing happened because there was a rift among the unions."
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