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No Fear No Favour

Farmers have right to protest but can’t block Delhi: Supreme Court

By Ishank Katyal

New Delhi: The farmers protest must not be stopped but they have no right to block roads in Delhi borders, Top Court said on Thursday regarding the ongoing farmers protest.

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, who said yesterday that the matter must be handed over to a committee, said the panel must have “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,” the Chief Justice said.

When the Centre insisted on a meeting where discussions can held on each clause, the court said, “We observed yesterday that the Centre is not successful in negotiations. We do not think that the farmers will accept your conclusions. Let the committee decide”.

When senior advocate Harish Salve 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,” said Chief Justice Bobde.

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