Other States

Dilli Chalo | Plea in Supreme Court to move protesting farmers from Delhi’s border

Police redirecting a car at the Delhi-U.P. border at Ghazipur.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

A petition in the Supreme Court on Friday sought a direction for the “immediate removal” of protesting farmers from Delhi’s borders, by applying its judgment in the Shaheen Bagh case that dissent should not intrude on public movement.

“This Court in the case of Amit Sahni vs. Commissioner of Police [Shaheen Bagh case] has stated that the protest which blocked the public way caused grave inconvenience to commuters and that such protest cannot be allowed, and indeterminable number of people cannot assemble wherever they choose to protest,” Rishabh Sharma, a law student from Delhi, said in his petition.

He said thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, have been choking the entry points to Delhi since November 26.

They are protesting the controversial agricultural laws passed by Parliament recently. The laws have already been separately challenged in the Supreme Court through a batch of petitions, which want their total repeal. They have been condemned as “anti-farmer” and a precursor to an “exploitative regime.”

Mr. Sharma said protesting farmers could not block public movement. The Supreme Court had forbade such protests in the future. The judgment in the Shaheen Bagh case had frowned upon protesters occupying public places indefinitely. Dissent, the court had said, could not be expressed by blocking public places and spaces. The court in its judgment, in October, had hoped that such a scenario witnessed in Shaheen Bagh, where women, children and senior citizens had agitated against the Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act by blocking a public road, would not happen again.

The student contended that farmers continued to camp at the borders and block the roads, though the government had allotted the Nirankari ground in Burari to hold their protests peacefully.

The petition said the large gatherings of farmers at the borders posed a challenge to the fight against the pandemic in the Capital. Entry of patients to Delhi from other States for treatment and supply of emergency medicines, etc, would also be affected.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 10:37:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/plea-in-supreme-court-to-move-protesting-farmers-from-delhis-border/article33253278.ece

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