‘No blanket ban’ on protests at Jantar Manta, Boat Club: SC

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The Supreme Court on Monday said that there cannot be any “blanket ban” on holding protests at Jantar Mantar and Boat Club in New Delhi.

A division bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and also comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan passed the order. Last October, the National Green Tribunal had banned all protests and dharnas around Jantar Mantar area saying such activities violate environmental laws.

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The top court was hearing a plea filed by an NGO seeking a direction and to allow demonstrations in the Central Delhi, including Jantar Mantar.

A bench said there was a need for striking a balance between conflicting rights such as right to protest and right of citizens to live peacefully.

“There cannot be a complete ban on holding protests at places like Jantar Mantar and Boat Club (near India Gate),” the bench said while directing the Centre to frame guidelines on the matter.

Several protests have been staged at Jantar Mantar in the recent past- including Babri Masjid demolition protests, Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement, One Rank One Pension protest and the Tamil Nadu farmers’ protest.

(With ANI inputs)

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