“It is one's constitutional right to protest. You are behaving as if Jama Masjid is Pakistan,” Judge Kamini Lau told the public prosecutor who opposed the bail application.

Whats wrong with protesting Judge pulls up Delhi police for Bhim Army chiefs arrestBhim Army Chief
news Court Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 12:54

The judge at Delhi’s Tiz Hazari Sessions court slammed the public prosecutor representing the Delhi police while hearing the bail plea filed by Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Azad who has been in jail for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Judge Kamini Lau pulled up the public prosecutor after he opposed Azad’s bail application and told the court that Azad had posted on social media that he was going to do a dharna at Jama Masjid in Delhi.

"Where is the violence? What is wrong with any of these posts? Who says you cannot protest? Have you read the constitution?" Judge Kamini Lau asked the public prosecutor, as per a report in LiveLaw.

"What is wrong with dharna? What is wrong with protesting? It is one's constitutional right to protest. You are behaving as if Jama Masjid is Pakistan. Even if it was Pakistan, you can go there and protest. Pakistan was a part of undivided India,” Judge Kamini Lau added. 

The public prosecutor then mentioned that the Bhim Army chief had organised the protests despite Section 144 in place and that he needed police permission to hold the protests. 

"What permission? Supreme Court has said repeated use of 144 is abuse. Many people who have protested outside Parliament have gone on to become leaders and ministers later on. I want you to show me under which law is it prohibited for someone to protest outside religious places," the judge asked the prosecutor.

The Bhim Army chief was sent to judicial custody on December 21. Azad's outfit had organised a march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar against the amended Citizenship Act on December 20, without police permission.

The marching protesters were stopped by the police and paramilitary personnel near the Delhi Gate, after which a few set a car on fire and damaged a few other vehicles. The police had resorted to lathicharge and used a water cannon to control the situation.

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