New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking clarifications in its 2020 verdict by which it had held that public spaces cannot be occupied indefinitely and demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone.
While deciding pleas against the occupation of public ways in the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh, a bench headed by Justice S K Kaul, on October 7, 2020, had said that democracy and dissent go hand in hand, but the right to protest and express dissent is there with an obligation towards certain duties.
"The issue is over, why is it listed. What is the clarification sought? I do not understand... The whole issue is over..No clarification of a judgement. The judgement speaks for itself. Dismissed," said Justice S K Kaul, heading the bench also comprising M M Sundresh.
The bench rejected the application, seeking some clarifications with regard to the right to protest at public places, summarily saying that it cannot go on clarifying the self speaking judgement by entertaining a plea in a disposed of the matter.
Earlier, the judgement had come on the pleas including the one filed by activist and lawyer Amit Sahni against blockade of a road in Shaheen Bagh area by those protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which aimed to provide Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
It had been said that erstwhile mode and manner of dissent against colonial rule cannot be equated with dissent in a self-ruled democracy.
"However, while appreciating the existence of the right to peaceful protest against a legislation...we have to make it unequivocally clear that public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied in such a manner and that too indefinitely", it had said.
"We have, thus, no hesitation in concluding that such kind of occupation of public ways, whether at the site in question or anywhere else for protests is not acceptable and the administration ought to take action to keep the areas clear of encroachments or obstructions", it had said.