Topic: Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
4. The right to protest is a fundamental political right basic to our democratic society, Discuss in detail the provisions regarding the right to protest peacefully enshrined in the Indian Constitution.(250 words)
Why this question:
The article argues for the right to protest for the citizens. Thus the question.
Key demand of the question:
Discuss in detail the background of the context of the question, explain why
Right to protest is a fundamental political right basic to our democratic society and then the constitutional provisions relating to it.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Describe the background of the question – Recently, there have been public protests in India against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and the proposed National Register of Citizens.
Explain that the government’s handling of the protests has invited criticism from certain sections. The administrations have been blamed of arbitrary imposition of section 144.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 authorizes the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area.
Section 144 of CrPC generally prohibits public gathering.
Section 144 has been used in the past to impose restrictions as a means to prevent protests that can lead to unrest or riots.
The administration has defended its actions, as being preventive in nature and to avoid violence and damage to public property.
Discuss the significance of right to protest as a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution.
Conclude by suggesting way forward that the people opposing the CAA have the right to protest and express their opinions. The government needs to acknowledge the right to dissent and protest for all Indians. Notably, Article 19(1)(3) states that the rights are subject to “reasonable restrictions” in the interest of public order. There is the need to ensure there is no violence or damage to public property in the protests.