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Supreme Court postpones hearing on petition over Shaheen Bagh roadblock, says it does not want to influence elections

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Amit Sahni, who had also approached the Delhi HC, seeking directions for the Delhi Police to remove the road blockade and ensure smooth traffic flow in the area.

The Supreme court has postponed the hearing for a plea filed against Shaheen Bagh protests, noting that it can influence the Delhi Assembly election voting on 8 February 2020.

The bench, comprising Justices KM Joseph and SK Kaul said, “We understand it’s an important issue. We will hold a detailed hearing on Monday”.

As per reports, the advocate appearing for one of the petitioners told the court that the voting day is scheduled for February 8, the bench noted, “That is exactly why we are saying come on Monday. Why should we influence it?”

The voting for 70 legislative assemblies in Delhi will take place on 8 February in Delhi and results will be declared on 11 February.

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The bench also told the petitioners to come prepared for the argument on ‘why’ the matter should not be remitted back to the Delhi High Court. The hearing has been postponed to February 10.

The bench noted, “We think it would be appropriate if the high court deals with the matter. The high court is the appropriate forum and we can issue directions to this effect”.

The Shaheen Bagh protests that have been ongoing since December 15, have blockaded the road in the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch, causing immense traffic woes for daily commuters. The Okhla underpass area has also been restricted due to the protests by Muslims.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Amit Sahni, who had also approached the Delhi HC, seeking directions for the Delhi Police to remove the road blockade and ensure smooth traffic flow in the area.

The petitioner has argued that the Kalindi Kunj road is vital because it connects three states, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It was also submitted that the roadblock and traffic diversions have caused the wastage of immense amount of time, energy and fuel, besides overburdening the DND, Akshardham and Ashram routes.

The court, though they deferred the matter, acknowledged that ‘there is a problem’.

Read: Shaheen Bagh ground report: A well-organised ‘organic’ protest, estimated costs of Rs 5L every day and protestors spying on you

Former Delhi MLA Nand Kishore Garg had also filed a petition separately in the Supreme court seeking directions to the authorities to remove Shaheen Bagh protesters.

The plea filed by Nand Kishor Garg had affirmed, “the law enforcement machinery was being “held hostage to the whims and fancies of the protesters” who have blocked vehicular and pedestrian movement from the road connecting Delhi to Noida”.

The high court urged the local authorities to deal with the situation while keeping issues of law and order in mind.

It is notable here that despite the Delhi Police’ request to the protestors to clear ways for school children and residents, there has been no progress so far.

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