Shaheen Bagh Protest: 'No irrelevant pleas to be entertained in Supreme Court'
New Delhi : The Supreme Court of India on Monday told mothers participating in the Shaheen Bagh protests that they respect motherhood and peace but would not tolerate any activity due to which their children would be called 'terrorists, Pakistanis or traitors in the school'.
An angry CJI Sharad A. Bobde issued a warning to the lawyers also saying that no "irrelevant" argument and pleadings will be taken up in the court.
The CJI's oral remarks came while taking suo motu cognisance of a letter from 12-year-old national bravery award winner Zen Gunratan Sadavarte for a probe into the death of four-month-old Mohammed Jahan, who accompanied his mother to the protest site and died on January 30 morning.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the incident was “really very painful”.
The advocate Shahruk Alam, representing the protesters of the Shaheen Bagh, said the reality was that it was very difficult to “sanitise the lives of our children... Our home is not what people imagine. It may be just a plastic sheet covering. Our children are called ‘Pakistani, terrorist, ghadar’ in school”.
She also persisted that “these children live in jhuggis. They attend melas. You have to hear the mothers’ voices... On the other hand, families are being separated by NRC [National Register of Citizens] and children are being detained”.
But the CJI intervened, saying “we do not want you or any people using this forum as a platform to further create problem. If somebody calls ‘Pakistani’ in a school, this is not the platform to bring that... We are not here to discuss NRC, CAA [Citizenship (Amendment) Act], rude behaviour in school, calling ‘Pakistani’, climate change or the Prime Minister”.
The CJI said: “we are on the death of a particular child... We respect motherhood, we respect social peace. So don't make arguments intended to generate guilt”.
Another lawyer, also appearing for the mothers, argued that India had ratified the UN Convention for Protection of Child Rights. “Children have a right to protest. Don’t stop that”, she argued.
“A four-month-old child is going there [Shaheen Bagh] to protest? Are you saying a four-month-old can protest?” the CJI asked.