The National Green Tribunal on Thursday banned the peaceful protests at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar citing noise pollution.
The NGT also directed Delhi government, NDMC and Delhi Police Commissioner to stop all protest, assembling of people and public speeches Jantar Mantar road.
“NDMC is directed to remove all make shifts structures, loud speakers& public address system from the said stretch of Jantar Mantar road,” it was quoted as saying.
A bench headed by Justice R.S. Rathore also directed the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to remove all make-shift and temporary structures, loud speakers and public address systems from the stretch of the road situated near Connaught Place.
“The respondents Government of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Police Commissioner, Delhi to immediately stop all the activities of dharna, protest, agitations, assembling of people, public speeches, using of loud speakers, etc. at Jantar Mantar road,” the bench was quoted by PTI.
The green panel said the continuance of the use of the area by protestors was in violation of environmental laws including Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
It said the residents of the nearby and surrounding area have a right to live peacefully and comfortably and in an atmosphere free from pollution at their residences.
The NGT was hearing a plea filed by Varun Seth and others alleging that processions and agitations held by social groups, political parties, NGOs at the Jantar Mantar Road were a major source of noise pollution in the area.
Jantar Mantar has been a centre of peaceful protests by all and sundry. More recently, the place had witnessed a series of protests against mob lynching and attacks against journalists.
The news has evoked angry reactions from activists.
Are we even a democracy …Where do we protest ? Jantar Mantar taken away..
— Tehseen Poonawalla (@tehseenp) October 5, 2017
NGT bans Jantar Mantar protests due to noise pollution?Right to protest peacefully by any group or individual at the heart of our democracy
— sonia singh (@soniandtv) October 5, 2017
#Breaking: Anna Hazare announces retirement from politics after NGT announced ban on any type of protests at Jantar Mantar. pic.twitter.com/KatYFny0Qe
— The UnPaid Times (@UnPaidTimes) October 6, 2017
NGT decides no more protests at #JantarMantar.D message is loud&clear dat discomforting voices 2d regime shud be kept at farthest distance.
— Manoj K Jha (@manojkjhadu) October 6, 2017