‘SC verdict on Ramlila protest must be reviewed’



New Delhi: BJP leader LK Advani on Sunday indicated that the Supreme Court verdict on the Ramlila Ground police crackdown may be reconsidered on the issue of protesters being denied permission by the authorities to peacefully agitate.

"The judgement of the Supreme Court lays down a landmark law in as much as it upholds the right to protest as a fundamental right of speech and to assemble.

"However, it shakes the foundation of the fundamental right by laying down a highly doubtful proposition that once the right to protest is denied, the protester must meekly accept the denial or run the risk of contributory negligence to the police oppression," he said quoting his party colleague Arun Jaitely in his latest blog.

Jaitley had last week released to the media a perceptive analysis of the court's judgement while complimenting the judges for upholding the citizens' right to protest peacefully against any government decision they disagrees with.

Advani said Jaitley was of the view that the latter part of the court's decision on the issue of denial of permission to protesters should be extensively debated and possibly reconsidered.

The Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports showing brutality of police action against the sleeping followers of Ramdev at Ramlila Maidan on the midnight of June 4-5 last year during his anti-corruption agitation.

Ramdev had alleged that the police action was carried out on the instructions of their political masters and demanded action against all people who had directed the crackdown.

Ramdev was agitating along with his followers against corruption.

The Delhi Police, however, had claimed that Ramdev had instigated his followers to indulge in violence, forcing the police to act at that time of the night.

PTI