There cannot be complete ban on holding protests at Jantar Mantar: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on  July 23 said there cannot be any “blanket” ban on holding protests and sit-ins at Jantar Mantar and Boat Club”, and also asked the Centre to frame guidelines for granting permissions to protesters at Jantar Mantar and Boat Club in New Delhi.

“There cannot be a complete ban on holding protests at places like Jantar Mantar and Boat Club (near India Gate),” the SC bench said.

A division bench of Supreme Court, headed by Justice AK Sikri and justice Ashok Bhushan passed the order and said that there was a need to strike a balance between conflicting rights such as the right to protest and right of citizens to live peacefully.

The SC bench also noted that as it is there was need for police permission for holding protests or demonstrations.

Apex court was hearing pleas, including the one filed by Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghtan and the Indian Ex-Servicemen’s Movement, challenging the decision of the National Green Tribunal that banned all protests around Jantar Mantar area in October 2017 saying such activities violate environmental laws.