Farmers’ Protest: Plea in top court seeks guidelines to allow protest at Jantar Mantar

Shweta Tambade

With the ongoing protests of the farmers at Singhu Border, a plea was filed at the Supreme Court seeking directions for the farmers to protest at Jantar Mantar, adhering to the COVID guidelines.

The petitioner prayed that the apex court structures guidelines to balance a citizen’s right to protest with other’s right to freely access and move.

The petition filed on behalf of Advocate Reepak Kansal wishes that the SC allows the farmers to protest at Jantar Mantar.

The plea stated that farmers are restricted from entering Delhi to protest peacefully, and wants the SC to intervene and protect the fundamental rights of the farmers.

Kansal seeks guidelines or law from the apex court to consider one’s right to free access and other’s movement and the right to protest.

The petitioner in his plea states that the rest of the citizens are suffering due to the gathering of protestors at the Delhi borders and stated:

“The groups of protesting farmers wanted to do peaceful protest at the designated place in Delhi which was not allowed by the respondents, law enforcing agencies / security forces which deployed by the respondents on the borders of Delhi or in its respective States to stop the groups of protesting farmers.”

It was alleged by the petitioner that the Delhi and Haryana police used tear agencies/security and force at the borders of the state to disintegrate the farmers.

It has previously been held by the SC that the right to protest was a blessing in a democracy.

The petitioner said that the right to access and move freely of the general public was violated as the police had blocked the roads and borders by the law enforcing bodies (respondents).

Kansal argued that states must not obstruct or restrict the right to protest as the states are bound to respect the fundamental right to protest.

He said, “In the present protest, the respondents have failed to fulfill their respective obligation even-after several requests made by the groups of farmers to protest peacefully at the designated places for protest.”

“Ignoring the requests of the protestors, the respondents have used excess force by using lathi-charge, tear gas shells and water cannon in winter season on the protestors,” the plea said.

Hence, Kansal has sought to allow the farmers to protest at Jantar Mantar Delhi peacefully and prevent the use of violent acts like lathi-charge, tear gas shells, and water cannons by the government officials.

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