Advocate Shashank Shekar Jha had moved an urgent petition in the Supreme Court (SC) following the brutal murder of a poor laborer at the Singhu-Kundli ‘farmer’ protest site asking for early hearing in the case to clear the site by removing the protestors.
Advocate Jha petitions apex court
A petition has been moved in the apex court asking for an urgent hearing of the plea where Advocate Jha has impressed upon the need to clear the Singhu border at the earliest. It must be mentioned here that a 32-year-old farm laborer’s hand had been maimed and his mutilated body had been tied to the metal barricade near the ‘farmer’ protest site. The man has allegedly been murdered for ‘sacrilege’ with a Nihang group claiming responsibility for the same.
Jha has termed the protests illegal while adding that they are being continued under the guise of freedom of expression despite their illegality. The plea among other things brings up the issue of the rape of a woman at the protest site and the farm laborer’s murder to make a case for getting the protest site cleared with urgency.
Some of the important points made in the petition are:
1) The protestors are sitting on public place for their protests for over 10 months on the borders of Delhi without any social distancing, masks or other Covid related protocols which has reportedly been one of the reasons for second wave of Covid- 19 in Northern India.
2) The protestors are not only putting their life at risk but of millions of people of India and such a prolonged agitation cannot be allowed especially during the ongoing pandemic since these prolonged protests on public places is not only a clear violation of Supreme Court rulings but is violating Right to Life of others who are directly or indirectly affected by the said protests.
3) The said protest has seen many unforeseen and unacceptable things including the Tractor Rally on Republic Day, Rape of a women and its cover up at the site and murder of Lakhbir Singh on Dussehra. The said incidents are neither common, nor acceptable. That a protest which in itself is illegal cannot be continued when it is witnessing anti-humanitarian acts.
4) When the people are dying due to covid and there is a scarcity of medical equipments including Oxygen, Medicines, Beds, Injections. That at a time when Union of India, State Governments, High Courts and this Hon’ble Court is doing everything possible to tackle this situation. That at a time when there is a ban on celebrating festivals, vising temples, going to schools and colleges, it’ll serve no good if such a protest will be allowed.
The petition also highlights that the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression cannot supersede Right to life and that allowing the protest to continue would bring losses to the nation. The petitioners have also brought home the point of the risk posed by such gatherings in the face of the third wave.
Hinting at the delay in hearing the petition, it says “this matter was initially taken up by this Hon’ble Court for hearing dated 10.05.2021 however due to crash in server of this court, the matter was adjourned to be taken on Thursday i.e., 13.05.2021 however the court couldn’t assemble on this date. The petition was then listed on 31.05.2021 but was adjourned to 12.07.2021 without any hearing in the instant matter however the matter was not at all listed on the said date”.
The petitioners have pointed out that any further delay will result in gross injustice and the purpose of the application will become infructuous.