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SC gives judgement regarding Right to Protest

  • Posted By
  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    11th Oct, 2020
  • The Supreme Court has recently highlighted that occupying public places for protests is not acceptable and such a space cannot be occupied indefinitely.
  • The verdict came after a plea was filed against the Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests which had led to blocking of a road in Shaheen Bagh in Delhi last December.
  • The judgment upheld the right to peaceful protest against a law.
  • It also made clear that public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied, especially indefinitely.
  • The bench also said that it was entirely the responsibility of the administration to prevent encroachments in public spaces.
  • Restrictions on Fundamental Rights: Fundamental rights do not live in isolation. These rights are subject to reasonable restrictions imposed in the interest of sovereignty, integrity and public order.
  • Right to Protest peacefully: The right to protest peacefully is guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
  • Articles 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(b) give to all citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression, and to assemble peaceably and without arms.
  • However, under Articles 19(2) and 19(3), the right to freedom of speech is subject to “reasonable restrictions”. These include the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

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