Supreme Court: A bench of SK Kaul and KM Joseph has adjourned March 23 hearing on pleas seeking removal of the crowd protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Shaheen Bagh area in the national capital. The bench said that it had to look into the road closure issue.

“We are informed that there are certain unfortunate issues that happened,”

The Court also refused to interfere with the application, filed by Chandrashekhar Azad and social activist Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, seeking courtmonitored SIT probe into the alleged Delhi riots observing that the Delhi High Court is looking into the matter. Justice Kurian Joseph, however, expressed his displeasure over the way the police have acted. He said.

“you (police) have to act immediately to handle the situation.”

On Monday, the two Amicus Curiae, senior advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran, had submitted their report in a sealed cover to the Court after engaging with the anti-CAA protestors last week for shifting the venue from Shaheen Bagh. The Court had last week appointed senior advocates — Sanjay Hedge, Sadhana Ramachandran and former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah — as interlocutors to talk to the protestors here and urge them to clear the road and protest at an alternate site.

Earlier, the Court had observed that the protesters can continue their protests but in an area designated for protests.

The PIL, filed by Dr Nand Kishore Garg and Amit Sahni through their lawyer Shashank Deo Sudhi earlier this week, also sought appropriate directions to the Centre and others for removal of protesters from Shaheen Bagh near Kalindi Kunj. Sudhi had, on Monday, mentioned the matter before a three-judge Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde, who asked him to approach the registry for urgent listing of the matter.

The petition seeks appropriate direction to the respondents, including the Union of India (UOI) for laying down detailed, comprehensive and exhaustive guidelines relating to outright restrictions for holding protest/agitation leading to obstruction of the public place. It said that people in Shaheen Bagh are illegally protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, by blocking the common and public road connecting Delhi to Noida.

The Shaheen Bagh protest is an ongoing 24/7 sit-in protest, led by women, that began with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA. Earlier, on December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ  had refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

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