How can 4-month-old go to protest at Shaheen Bagh, asks SC


A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government on suo motu plea to "stop involvement of children and infants in demonstrations".

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday, taking suo motu cognizance on the death of a four-month-old, said how could an infant go to protest at Shaheen Bagh, and also how could mothers support this.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government on suo motu plea to "stop involvement of children and infants in demonstrations".

A counsel appearing for the women in the protests claimed as per United Nations convention, children can participate in the protest. To this, the Chief Justice replied: "Can a 4-month-old child be taking part in such (Shaheen Bagh) protests?",

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was also present in the court, objected to the line of argument of the women's lawyers.

A group of women from Shaheen Bagh through the lawyer contended before the top court that even climate change activist Greta Thunberg was a child when she became a protester, and raised concerns on children from the area being called Pakistanis, traitors etc., in schools.

The Chief Justice, terming these arguments irrelevant, said: "Do not make such explosive submissions...we do not want people to use this platform to create more problems."

Two women advocates claimed they represent the women involved in the protest.

The Chief Justice reiterated the query how could a four-month-old go to the protest site, and how could mothers justify this. The 4-month-old baby had passed away in his sleep on the night of January 30 after his parents returned from Shaheen Bagh.

As the counsel continued to argue on the plight of women and children in detention centres, the Chief Justice again told the counsels not to make irrelevant arguments on someone calling a child Pakistani in school, NRC, CAA or detention camps. "In this proceeding, we are considering the death of a four-month-old child," he said.

"We respect motherhood, social peace. Don't make arguments to generate guilt...", he added.

The apex court had taken cognizance of a letter by a 12-yr-old national bravery award winner, who wrote to the Chief Justice following the death of a 4-month-old infant allegedly due to exposure to cold as he was taken to the venue of the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.

IANS

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