Violent acts don’t come under right to protest, says Delhi court

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  A Delhi court has said that the riot which broke out on Republic Day during farmers’ tractor parade was violent and none of the act of the rioters/protesters comes within the purview of democratic right of protest.

The right to protest means the right to peaceful protest and not to resort to violence of any kind, even on provocation, it observed while granting bail to a 19-year-old youth in a case related to the violence. Additional Sessions Judge Samar Vishal granted bail to Sumit on Thursday on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of like amount in the case of violence in Nangloi area.

However, he stated that the guilt or innocence of the applicant is a matter of trial and nothing can be said about it at this stage. The relief was granted after the police said he has not been seen committing violence in any video footage. The court noted that out of the 20 accused arrested in the case, 19 have already been released on bail.

“The riot which broke out on that day was violent and none of the act of the rioters/ protesters comes within the purview of democratic right of protest. Right to protest means right to peaceful protest and not to resort to violence of any kind even on provocation,” the court said. “The facts portrayed by the prosecution shows that the acts of the protesters/rioters cannot be condoned. However, the guilt or innocence of the applicant is a matter of trial and nothing can be said about it at this stage,” it said.