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SC Asks Centre How to Regulate Protests in Central Delhi, Petitioners Aggrieved By NGT Order Banning Protests at Jantar Mantar

A Public Interest Litigation was filed by the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) to allow the "protestors to protest in a peaceful manner around the Boat Club area of India Gate."

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:December 4, 2017, 12:34 PM IST
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SC Asks Centre How to Regulate Protests in Central Delhi, Petitioners Aggrieved By NGT Order Banning Protests at Jantar Mantar
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New Delhi: A bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan issued notice to the centre on a plea to allow demonstration in Central Delhi including Jantar Mantar.

The two judge bench called for a balance between the people's right to protest and hold demonstration and also maintain law and order. It has now asked the centre to respond on how to regulate protests in Central Delhi.

This Public Interest Litigation was filed by the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) to allow the “protestors to protest in a peaceful manner around the Boat Club area of India Gate.”

The petitioner have stated that they are aggrieved by the order banning all sort of protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

The disputed said order was passed in October, 2017 by the Principal bench of NGT. MKSS has identified 'Boat Club Area' of India Gate, as an alternative to hold peaceful protests.

Bench of Justice A. K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan has also asked for recommendations from Centre in regard to guidelines for regulation of 'Right to Protest and Demonstration'.

The apex court has also sought recommendations from the Traffic Advisory bodies to frame regulatory guidelines to manage smooth flow of traffic whenever a demonstration is carried on by participants in a protest.

The petitioners have also asserted that the Right to Protest, Demonstrate and have Peaceful Assembly (in a lawful manner) is a fundamental right. "Government cannot keep on imposing Sec-144 of the Cr.P.C, in an everlasting manner," reads the petition.

Earlier hearing a plea filed by residents of Jantar Mantar road, who had claimed that processions and agitations "violate their right to live in a peaceful and healthy environment, right to silence, right to sleep and right to life with dignity," an NGT bench headed by Justice R.S. Rathore had directed the respondents to remove all make-shift and temporary structures, loud speakers and public address systems from the road and to "forthwith" shift the protesters and those sitting on dharnas at the venue to Ramlila Maidan.

The NGT bench had also held that the protests were in violation of environmental laws including Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and upheld the right of the residents of the surrounding area to live peacefully and comfortably.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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