The indefinite occupation by demonstrators of public places or highways, which can cause people inconvenience and violate their rights, is not appropriate, the Supreme Court has said.
The court recognized that peaceful protests were indeed a constitutional right, but said the right was not absolute. An indeterminable number of people cannot block public roads, restrict public movement and cause inconvenience, Justice Kaul read out the verdict.
Justices SK Kaul, Aniruddha Bose, and Krishna Murari's three-judge bench delivered the judgment on a batch of petitions calling for a decision if "an indefinite period of protests in a common area (that) causes inconvenience for others" will occur.
Delhi's Shaheen Bagh had emerged as the epicenter of anti-CAA protests last year where the protesters- mostly women and children - sat for more than three months.
The protesters were later removed by the police on March 24, with the emergence of the pandemic and the national lockdown arising from it. Before the novel coronavirus pandemic pushed a majority of the population indoors, a large wave of demonstrations had swept the nation against the CAA, and in March the government announced one of the world's strictest lockdowns.