You have strangulated entire city, now you want to come inside and protest, SC tells farmers’ body
The Supreme Court on Friday told a farmers’ body protesting against the three farm laws and seeking directions to authorities to allow it to stage ‘satyagrah’ at Jantar Mantar here that they had strangulated the entire city and now they wanted to come inside and start protest here again.
What was the point in continuing with the protest once it had moved the court challenging the farm laws, the apex court asked the farmers’ body, and said the citizens had equal rights to move freely and without fear and there had to be a “balanced approach”.
A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar asked the petitioners whether they had asked the locals if they were “happy” with their protest.
The top court was hearing a petition filed by Kisan Mahapanchayat, a body of farmers and agriculturists, and its president seeking directions to the authorities concerned to provide space to at least 200 farmers or protesters of the body at Jantar Mantar for organising peaceful and non-violent ‘satyagrah’.
“You have strangulated the entire city and now you want to come within the city and start protest again here,” the bench said, adding, “There has to be some balanced approach.”
At the outset, the counsel appearing for the petitioners told the bench that the plea is seeking direction to the authorities concerned to permit them to stage ‘satyagrah’ at Jantar Mantar.
“Tell us one thing, you want ‘satyagrah’ here, no difficulty. But you have approached the court. Once you have approached the court, have trust in the court and the judicial system that it will decide your case appropriately,” the bench said.
It said the petitioner had already moved the high court against the farm laws and they could approach the court for expeditious hearing.
“What is the point of doing ‘satyagrah’?” the bench observed.
“Your issue is only that repeal those three laws. You have filed a writ petition before the high court. Once you have made up your mind and have approached the court and having done that, thereafter you cannot say that you will continue with the protest. What is the purpose of this,” the bench asked.
When the bench asked, “Are you protesting against the judicial system?” the petitioner’s counsel said, “no”.
“Once you have approached the judicial system, have faith in the court. You pursue that matter for urgent hearing instead of protesting again,” the bench said.
It said right to protest is there but the citizens also “have equal rights to move freely and without fear”.
“Their properties are being damaged. Do you take permission from the residents around that whether they are happy with your protest,” the apex court said, adding, “This coaxing business should stop.” PTI