SC to hear pleas against protest at Shaheen Bagh Monday

New Delhi: The Supreme Court said it would hear the pleas against anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh next week as it did not want to “influence” the Delhi Assembly elections by hearing the matter today.

Polls in the national capital will be held tomorrow and the matter will now be heard on Monday. “We understand there is a problem and we have to see how to resolve it. We will take it up on Monday. We will be in a better position by then,” a bench comprising justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said.

When an advocate appearing for one of the petitioners said that voting for Delhi election is scheduled on 8 February, the bench noted, “That is exactly why we are saying come on Monday. Why should we influence it?”

The bench also asked the petitioners to come prepared on Monday to argue on why the matter should not be remitted back to the Delhi High Court.
“We think it would be appropriate if the high court deals with the matter. The high court is the appropriate forum and we can issue directions to this effect,” the bench said.

The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by advocate Amit Sahni, who had approached the high court seeking directions to the Delhi police to ensure smooth traffic flow on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch, blocked by anti-CAA protesters since 15 December.

The high court had urged the local authorities to deal with the situation keeping in mind law and order. Separately, former Delhi MLA Nand Kishore Garg, through his counsel Shashank Deo Sudhi, has filed a petition in the apex court seeking directions to the authorities to remove the protestors from Shaheen Bagh.

Restrictions have been imposed on the Kaindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and the Okhla underpass, which were closed on 15 December last year due to the protests against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).