The Supreme Court on Monday objected to blocking of road by the protest at Shaheen Bagh, but asked the authorities to provide an alternate site to the protesters.
"Right to protests has been recognised world over in democracies, especially in India. It is a fundamental right subject only to public order and security of state," said Justice KM Joseph.
Posting the matter for further hearing on Monday next, the court tasked advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran to talk to protesters to persuade them to shift protests to an alternate site.
Both Hegde and Ramachandran are senior lawyers who will act as interlocutors between the government and the protesters.
The court also said that the two lawyers can talk to former information commissioner and ex-IAS officer Wajahat Habibullah and request his assistance.
Ramachandran has been practising in the Supreme Court since 1978, and involved in mediation efforts since 2006. She has served as organising secretary of Delhi High Court mediation and conciliation centre and has been involved in training of several lawyers in different high courts.
Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde began his career in 1989. Most recently, he appeared in Aarey forest case in Mumbai. Hegde was designated senior advocate by Supreme Court in 2015.
Protest at Shaheen Bagh has continued since December 15, 2019, when a group of 14-15 women protesters first assembled in opposition to the passage of the amended citizenship act (CAA), calling it unconstitutional.
The continued sit-in by people, especially women, has since continued and gained nationwide attention. The protesters have pitched a tent on a main road linking Noida to south-east Delhi via the Kalindi Kunj bridge, which, according to an official estimate, witnesses movement of around 1.75 lakh vehicles on a daily basis.
The closure of the road has led to hassles for commuters and school children. All the efforts to negotiate with the protesters have so far failed.
So, some people filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Supreme Court seeking appropriate directions to the Centre and others for removal of protesters from Shaheen Bagh.