The Supreme Court on Friday postponed the hearings on the pleas related to the anti-Citizenship Act protests in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality till February 10 in light of the Assembly elections scheduled on Saturday, Bar and Bench reported. “We understand there is some difficulty, but we will be in a better position to take it up on Monday [February 10],” the court said.
Shaheen Bagh has become the epicentre of protests against the amended citizenship law and the proposed National Register of Citizens. Hundreds of women have been peacefully protesting there since December 15, against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch in the Capital has been closed since December 15 after protestors began the sit-in.
The bench, comprised of Justices KM Joseph and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, was hearing the pleas by lawyer Amit Sahni and Nand Kishore Garg. Sahni’s petition asked for directions for the removal of the barricades on the Shaheen Bagh stretch, while Garg has sought the top court’s order to remove the protestors from Kalindi Kunj road.
During Friday’s hearing, a petitioner’s counsel urged the judges to take up the matter before the Delhi elections, to which Kaul said, according to Live Law: “That’s precisely why we are posting it on Monday.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party has attempted to portray the upcoming Delhi elections as a referendum on the ongoing protests, particularly at Shaheen Bagh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, too, had hit out at the Shaheen Bagh protest. Modi had called the protests a “conspiracy”, where the real agenda is being obscured by using the tricolour and the Constitution as symbols. Union minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday said that the locality will be cleared if the saffron party was voted to power.