During a physical hearing at the Supreme Court on Thursday, the farmers’ side and the government had a verbal dispute. Farmers, who were represented by senior attorney Dushyant Dave and advocate Prashant Bhushan, claimed that roads were intentionally stopped to sway public opinion against them. Protesters should be permitted to continue their anti-agricultural legislation demonstrations in the Ram Lila Maidan and Jantar Mantar.
The court observed that in the Shaheen Bagh demonstrations case, it had established that the freedom to demonstrate should not obstruct the public’s right to freedom of movement. Justice Kaul stated that the law is put so there’s no need for the Supreme Court to repeat itself and some solutions must be found in the end. He further stated that the highway cannot be closed.
Mr. Dave argued that the freedom to protest is a basic human right. He informed the Bench that another Bench was hearing a similar matter and that this case should be shifted there. He questioned why farmers were not permitted at Jantar Mantar when the BJP organized large rallies in the region on Tuesday against the attack on Hindus in Bangladesh during Durga puja. He stated again that the best way to solve the situation is to allow farmers access to the Ram Lila Maidan.
The Ram Lila Maidan has become a permanent dwelling for many and there was evidence that the protests were being sponsored by anti-national groups. Only four out of 43 farmers’ organizations and leaders have reacted to the top court’s summons to remove the blockades, which was issued in response to a plea by a Noida resident.