[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Supreme Court today, while refusing to interfere with the Allahabad High Court’s order, granted liberty to the petitioner- Huzaifa Amir, who is Ex Hony Secretary of Aligarh Muslim University Students Union (AMUSU) to challenge the decision of the court banning Dharna Pradarshans and rallies either at the main gate of the Administrative Block of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) or within a 100-meter radius of the Block and the Vice-Chancellor’s official residence within the campus.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Indira Jaising assisted by advocate Paras Nath Singh, submitted before the apex court that the High Court’s order was passed behind the back of the students as they were not made party before the High Court by the University while seeking a ban on the protest at certain places within the University.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph, accordingly, proceeded to grant liberty to the petitioner to approach the concerned High Court if the decision was indeed passed behind the back of the students.
The Allahabad High Court on May 17, 2019, on the petition filed by the AMU administration, had banned dharnas at AMU’s administrative block main gate or within its 100-meter radius even though the Aligarh district administration had told the High Court that the Dharna/protest was being staged in a very peaceful manner and there was no question of deterioration of law and order in the university.
The High Court had further directed to earmark an area where the students could congregate freely in a peaceful manner to protest.
The petitioner informed the SC that the directions issued by the High Court were undemocratic and arbitrary which infringed the fundamental right of peaceful assembly guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) & (b) of the Constitution of India. It is further submitted that the students of the University are using the same site for holding peaceful demonstrations and fighting for the interest of the students for the redressal of their legitimate grievances.
According to the university counsel before the High Court, PhD aspirants, who could not qualify for the admission test, had blocked the main entrance of the administrative gate of the university, obstructing the ingress and egress of employees and officials to the administrative building. The counsel claimed it had become impossible for the administrative authorities to carry out their day-to-day functioning as a result of the ongoing protest.
The petition in the Supreme Court was filed through Advocate-on-Record Irshad Hanifi and drawn by Advocate Rizwan Ahmed.