BJP leader seeks urgent SC hearing for removal of Shaheen Bagh protestors

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked a Delhi BJP leader to approach its mentioning officer for urgent listing of his plea seeking removal of hundreds of anti-citizenship law protestors occupying a stretch of road in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was urged by lawyer Shashank Deo Sudhi, appearing for BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg, that the plea be listed for an urgent hearing considering the difficulty faced by residents due to the nearly-two-month-long protest on a road connecting Delhi and Noida.
“You go to the mentioning officer,” said the bench which also comprised Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant.
Later during the day, the lawyer mentioned the matter before the mentioning officer who assured urgent listing of the PIL, provided defects are cured.
The plea also said that various other arterial roads of Delhi have been facing traffic congestion due the protest at Shaheen Bagh.
Restrictions have been imposed on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and Okhla underpass since December 15, when hundreds of women sat on a protest against the amended law.
Saying that the law enforcement machinery has been “held hostage to the whims and fancies of the protesters,” the plea has sought laying down of guidelines for protests leading to obstruction of public place.
“It is disappointing that the state machinery is muted and silent spectator at hooliganism and vandalism of the protesters who are threatening the existential efficacy of the democracy and the rule of law and had already taken the law and order situation in their own hand,” said the plea.
It said the Shaheen Bagh protest is “undoubtedly within the constitutional parameter” but it has lost its legality as constitutional protection were being “blatantly and brazenly flouted and violated”.
The State has a duty to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens, who have been facing trouble due to the road blockade, it said.
“Hence, it is urgently required that the public places must not be allowed to be abused and misused for ulterior and mala fide purposes such as staging protest against the constitution amendment in the heart of the capital city and thereby causing incalculable hardships and difficulties to the common people,” it said.
It said a similar plea was filed by another litigant in the Delhi High Court, which on January 14 directed the local authority to deal with the situation. The litigant has filed an appeal in the apex court against the high court order and sought supervision of the situation in Shaheen Bagh by a retired Supreme Court judge or a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court.
Meanwhile, the apex court has already listed for hearing on February 7 a similar plea filed by lawyer and activist Amit Sahni.
Sahni has filed a special leave petition in the apex court against the Delhi High Court’s order directing the local authority to deal with the situation keeping in mind the law and order.
The plea has sought directions to the police to ensure smooth traffic flow on Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch.
It has sought supervision of the situation in Shaheen Bagh, where several women are sitting on protest, by a retired Supreme Court judge or a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court in order to circumvent any violence.