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  • Right to protest is considered a fundamental right when such a protest is done peacefully.
  • Though there is a fundamental right to protest, it is controlled by reasonable restrictions imposed.
  • That in a democratic country there lies a necessity to protest wherein the public express their opinions upon the actions of the government if there is injustice, vacuum or mistake.
  • Public acts like a watchdog of the government and monitors all its movements of it.


  • Citizens are provided with few rights as fundamental rights to protect their interests and provide for a civilized society and maintain peace.
  • And as per the law of the land, there cannot be any law oract of government that is contrary to those rights and interests of its public. If there exists a condition wherein the peace among the citizens is disturbed or any arbitrary act of government leads to the violation of the Fundamental Rights conferred to them, they can protest against the same by expressing their views and such a protest shall be held peacefully.
  • There always arises public outrage whenever there is some conflict in interests and the policy made by the government. The recent scheme brought in by the government of India AGNEEPATH has also seen grave public protests and the constitution does not give the right to the people to hold such protests.


  • Protest as generally discussed is a way in which the affected party or aggrieved party expresses their objections towards any scheme or policy of any organization government any authority for that matter.
  • The reason why public protest is due to the lack of complete awareness with regard to the same and also to question the authority and seek answers. This way it does not only show the disagreement but also helps the government to introspect themselves and identify if there exist any loopholes in their actions.
  • In a democratic country like India, where the importance is given to the people their voice etc, it is essential that they get to have a say with regards to policies drafted for the public interest and also express their objections or their views through public interest.


  • Part III of the Constitution of India provides the Fundamental Rights to its citizens in the public interest and for protection of the rights. Article 19 of the Indian Constitution provides for the freedoms to the citizens therein and reasonable restrictions so as to not let the public take advantage of the same.
  • Right to protest peacefully is guaranteed by the Constitution of India, under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(1)(b) All citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression and to assemble peaceably without arms. Such a right is subjected to reasonable restrictions wherein it should not affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state public order etc.
  • Though not an explicit fundamental right the right to protest can be derived from Article 19 as mentioned above. Under the right to freedom of speech,an individual can express his opinion with regard to the government’s actions and also under the right to freedom of association the individuals can collectively organise associations and then thus challenge or question the authorities.
  • The main reason thus the protests are being encouraged is that the public acts as a watchdog with regard to government actions and thereby challenging any injustice or misuse of power being done.
  • In the case of Re-Ramlila Maidan Incident Dtvs Home Secretary and Ors[Suo Motu Writ Petition (CRL.) No. 122 of 2011] the Supreme Court held that the citizens have a fundamental right to peaceful protest and the same cannot be taken away by any arbitrary action of the legislative or executive.
  • In the case of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangatham (MKSS) vs Union of India, the Supreme Court further held that it has though recognised the basic right to assembly and peaceful protest but held that they should be controlled by means of reasonable restrictions applicable so that they do not disturb the public order, cause any discomfort to the people living.


  • Thus, it can be concluded that conducting a peaceful protest is a fundamental right guaranteed and it is the duty of the government to make sure that they enforce reasonable restrictions so as to prevent the abuse of power or right in the hands of the individual. It is an essential element of a democratic country and the public should also utilize the same without any violence and thereby not infringing any other fundamental rights.

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