The SC bench said it was taking suo motu cognizance of the letter written by a national bravery award winner Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, seeking that minors be barred from participating in any type of protest and agitations (Photo: PTI)
The SC bench said it was taking suo motu cognizance of the letter written by a national bravery award winner Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, seeking that minors be barred from participating in any type of protest and agitations (Photo: PTI)

'Can a four-month-old go to protest at Shaheen Bagh?': SC on infant's death

  • 'We are not stifling any voice. This is a properly constituted suo motu proceedings by the Supreme Court of India,' the bench said
  • The 4-month-old baby had passed away in his sleep on the night of January 30 after returning from Shaheen Bagh where his parents had taken him during the anti-CAA protest

New Delhi: The Supreme court on Monday issued notice to Central government and Delhi government on a suo motu case on taking infants and children to protests and demonstration following a letter written to it by a national bravery award winner Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, who said that minors be barred from participating in any type of protest and agitation.

"We do not want people to use this platform to further create problems. We are not considering whether some child is being Pakistani is not ours to address. We are not considering CAA, NRC or youth behaviour in schools. A four-month-child has died there? Has he gone for protest?“ Chief Justice (CJI) S.A. Bobde said.

The bench expressed anger over the two women lawyers who made a statement that children who participated in the protests have been dubbed as 'Pakistani' and 'anti-nationals' in their schools. It further made it clear that it was not stifling anybody's voice.

"We are not stifling any voice. This is a properly constituted suo motu proceedings by the Supreme Court of India," the bench headed by CJI said.

A 12-year-old, a bravery award winner, had written to the Chief Justice of India seeking probe into the death of a four-months-old infant at Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi amidst the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, a 7th grade student and a recipient of the ICCW national bravery award 2019, wrote the letter seeking investigation into the death of Mohammed Jahaan who was taken by his mother every day to sit at Shaheen bagh for the anti-CAA protest.

She has alleged in her complain that the right to life under Article 21 of the constitution was violated. She also claims that “ignoring the fact that new born babies need a lot of attention and care as they cannot express their pains in particulars thereafter also ignoring the conditions unfavourable to the children, they are brought to the protest place which is violative of their child rights and natural justice":

Sadavarte in her letter has sought actions against not just the organizer of the Shaheen bagh protest but also the parents of the demised infant.

She had mentioned in the letter that the infant died at 1:00 am on 30 January after returning from the Shaheen bagh demonstration. Adding further she writes that the mother of the infant had stated that the death occurred due to severe cold and congestion and due to the exposure to the winter chills at the outdoor demonstrations where she used to take him.

Writing to the Chief Justice she sought directions to be issued to the authorities concerned to stop children and infants from being involved in the demonstrations and agitation, which amounts to torture and cruelty. She had further sought directions to policeauthorities and other appropriate authorities for investigation into the death of the infant.

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