Protest can continue, but Delhi border cannot be closed: Supreme Court

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Image tweeted by @ANI
Image tweeted by @ANI

New Delhi : Supreme Court on Thursday said that the protest by farmers against farm bill can continue and national capital cannot be blocked. The court also ruled that the government should put the law on hold till SC takes a final decision on the matter.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, who was representing the government, said he get back to the court on the issue after discussion.

"We make it clear that we recognise the fundamental right to protest against a law. There is no question of balancing or curtailing it. But it should not damage anyone's life or property," said Chief Justice SA Bobde.

Justice Bobde said the matter must be discussed among "independent members with knowledge of agriculture and hear both sides and give report on what is to be done".  Meanwhile, the "protests can continue without violence and the police will not do anything (to stop the protests)," the Chief Justice said.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, who was representing one of the petitioners, said "Protests cannot be just for protest, but to articulate point of view," the court said, "That is exactly what we mean".

"Protest's purpose must be fulfilled by non-violent means. Protests must be about issues. Aggrieved parties must be allowed to articulate and the party that caused the problem must be allowed to answer," the Chief Justice said.

Protesters have been blocking the borders to Delhi in an agitation against new farm bill which was recently passed in the parliament. Several farmers had acquired the Delhi border 23 days back.