Farmers do have a right to protest, but they cannot block roads indefinitely, the supreme court said on Thursday while hearing a petition filed against the protesting farmers blocking the roads.
The court stated, “Ultimately some solution has to be found. We are not averse to their right to protest even when a legal challenge is pending, but roads cannot be blocked.”
The court was hearing a petition filed by a resident of Noida, urging that the protesting farmers be removed from the roads around Delhi region.
The Top court has granted three weeks’ time to farmer unions to file their response on a petition seeking removal of the protesters from the roads. The farmers unions have led the nearly year-long agitation along the borders of Delhi and elsewhere against the centre’s three farm laws. The Apex court posted the issue for further hearing on December 7.
Taking grim view of the continuing blockade of highways connecting the national capital to the neighbouring states by farmers agitating against the farm laws, the top court had earlier as well said that the roads cannot be blocked perpetually.
“Redressal can be through judicial form, agitation, or parliamentary debates. But how can highways be blocked and this happen perpetually? Where does it end?”, remarked justice SK Kaul, who led the two-judge bench, while hearing a plea by a Noida resident alleging hardships to commuters due to the ongoing protests.