A Delhi court on Tuesday, while hearing the bail application of Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad, slammed the Delhi Police and said the Bhim Army chief is a budding politician and has a “constitutional right to protest.” “What is wrong with dharna? What is wrong with protesting? It is one’s constitutional right to protest,” the Tis Hazari court asked the prosecutor.
Coming down heavily on the Delhi Police, the Court asked as to which law mentions that there is prohibition on protest in front of any religious place.
The Court adjourned the hearing in Bhim Army Chief, Chandrasekhar's bail plea till tomorrow, so that the state can produce all FIRs registered against him in Saharanpur.
"People can carry out peaceful protests anywhere. Jama Masjid is not in Pakistan where we are not allowed to protest. Peaceful protests take place in Pakistan as well," the court said.
"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", the judge told the Prosecutor. The judge also added that none of the posts of Azad were unconstitutional and reminded the Prosecutor that one had the right to protest.
When the Prosecutor replied that permission had to be taken for protests, the Judge said :
"What permission? The Supreme Court has said repeated use of 144 is abuse (referring to recent Kashmir case decision)".
Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for Azad, pointed out that the FIR against Azad in the Daryaganj violence mentions the charges against him in the Saharanpur case. When the judge questioned the Public Prosecutor on those charges, he pleaded ignorance.
Azad was arrested by the Delhi Police on the intervening night of 20-21 December from the gates of the Jama Masjid after the Daryaganj protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were disrupted, leading to violence.