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What is the news?
The Supreme Court has recently said farmers’ grievances could be addressed either by Parliament or judiciary, but they can’t be seen to cause harassment to commuters through sit-in dharnas on highways, hindering traffic.
About the farmers’ protest and the PIL
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have been on sit-in protests for more than a year on highways, jamming Delhi’s three border points — Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur.
The protesting farmers are demanding that the three farm laws have to be repealed. A PIL has been filed, and it mentioned that blockade of roads by farmers is making it hard for commuters to travel between Delhi, Haryana, and UP.
The Supreme Court observation in farmers’ protest and the PIL
The court sighted the Amit Sahni vs Commissioner of Police & Ors case judgment and held that “The law has already been laid down. It is the duty of the executive to implement it. Road blockades can’t be continued till perpetuity.”
|Read more: Significance and Issues associated with Farms laws|
About the Supreme Court observation on blockade
Amit Sahni vs Commissioner of Police & Ors case, 2020: While dealing with Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA road-blocking protests, the court held that the right to peaceful protest against legislation is appreciable. But that does not mean public ways and public spaces can be occupied in such a manner, and that too indefinitely.
The SC held that “occupation of public ways, whether at the site in question or anywhere else for protests, is not acceptable.” The court also held that “the administration ought to take action to keep the areas clear of encroachments or obstructions.”
The SC also held that “Democracy and dissent go hand in hand, but then the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone.”
|Read more: Ten months on, what lessons have we learnt from the farmers’ movement?|
Source: This post is based on the article “Law is clear, road blockades can’t go on endlessly, says Supreme Court” published in Times of India on 01st October 2021.