From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Art. 19
Mains level : Right to Protest and limtations over it
The Supreme Court has that said farmers have a constitutional right to continue with their “absolutely perfect” protest as long as their dissent against the three controversial agricultural laws did not slip into violence.
Q.It is the abundant duty of the State to aid and limit the exercise of Right to Protest peacefully. Examine.
Right to Protest
- The right to protest is the manifestation of the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association, and the right to freedom of speech.
- The Constitution of India provides the right of freedom, given in Article 19 with the view of guaranteeing individual rights that were considered vital by the framers of the constitution.
- The Right to protest peacefully is enshrined in Article 19(1) (a) guarantees the freedom of speech and expression; Article 19(1) (b) assures citizens the right to assemble peaceably and without arms.
- Article 19(2) imposes reasonable restrictions on the right to assemble peaceably and without arms.
Reasonable restrictions do exist in practice
- Fundamental rights do not live in isolation. The right of the protester has to be balanced with the right of the commuter. They have to co-exist in mutual respect.
- The court held it was entirely the responsibility of the administration to prevent encroachments in public spaces.
- Democracy and dissent go hand in hand, but then the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone.
- The present case was not even one of the protests taking place in an undesignated area but was a blockage of a public way which caused grave inconvenience to commuters.