NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court said on Monday that people have a fundamental right to protest against law but the blocking of public roads is a matter of concern and there has to be a balancing factor.
Hearing pleas over the roadblocks due to the ongoing protests at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said its concern is about what will happen if people start protesting on roads.
Democracy works on expressing views but there are lines and boundaries for it, the bench said.
It asked senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and advocate Sadhana Ramachandran to talk to Shaheen Bagh protestors and persuade them to move to an alternative site where no public place is blocked.
The matter has been posted for next hearing on February 24.
People have a fundamental right to protest but the thing which is troubling us is the blocking of public roads, the bench said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said Shaheen Bagh protestors should not be given a message that every institution is on its knees trying to persuade them on this issue. The apex court said that if nothing works, we will leave it to the authorities to deal with the situation.
Restrictions have been imposed on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and the Okhla underpass, which were closed on December 15 last year due to the protests against CAA and Register of Citizens.