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'We must keep in mind...': Bombay HC while allowing protest against CAA

The court did not stop here. It also said it is wrong to call "traitors" and "anti-national" those protesting against the CAA

Saturday February 15, 2020 7:28 PM, ummid.com News Network

Bombay HC on CAA protest

[This image of women protesting against CAA/NRC/NPR in Bengaluru is tweeted by Ramchandra Guha]

Aurangabad (Maharashtra): Terming as illegal the order by a Magistrate and Police barring protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court said it is the right of the people to protest against any law which they feel is against their interest.

"We must keep in mind that we are a democratic republic country and our Constitution has given us rule of law and not rule of majority. When such act (CAA) is made, some people may be of a particular religion like Muslims may feel that it is against their interest and such act needs to be opposed", the bench headed by Justices TV Nalavade and MG Sewlikar said Thursday.

"It is a matter of their perception and belief and the court cannot go into the merits of that perception or belief", the court added.

The court's ruling came in response to a petition filed by a Maharashtra resident, Iftekhar Shaikh, who asked the court to allow him and others to sit on a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Maharashtra's Beed district after local police and district magistrate declined to give permission.

"India got freedom due to agitations which were non-violent and this path of non-violence is followed by the people of this country till this date. We are fortunate that most of the people of this country still believe in non-violence", the court said in the order.

"In the present matter also the petitioners and companions want to agitate peacefully to show their protest," it added.

'Not anti National or traitors'

The court did not stop here. It also said it is wrong to call "traitors" and "anti-national" those protesting against the CAA.

"This court wants to express that such persons cannot be called as traitors, anti-nationals only because they want to oppose one law. It will be act of protest and only against the government for the reason of CAA", the court said.

The court order came amidst widespread anger against CAA and NRC - National Register of Citizens all across India and reports that police in some states, mainly ruled by the BJP and its allies, is using excessive force to suppress the protesters.

The Citizenship Amendmend Act (CAA) was passed by the Parliament on December 11, 2019 and became a law after the President of India signed it on December 12, 2019.

Though the government insists that the newly enacted law is not against any community, people are protesting against it citing the speeches of Union Home Minister Amit Shah made inside and outside the Parliament.

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