Trade Union Rights under Attack
We will not surrender our constitutional right
Secretary General, Confederation.
Right to peaceful protest is a constitutional right and right to assemble and demonstrate by holding dharnas is the basic features of an effective democratic system.
Article 19 of the Indian Constitution is one of the most important article constituting the “basic feedoms” guaranteed to every citizen of India. Article 19(1) provides that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, associations, movement, residence and practicing any trade, business, occupation or profession. Article 19(1)(b) guarantees to all citizens of India, rights to “assemble peacefully and without arms”. This right includes the right to hold meetings and take out processions. Of course, assembly must be peaceful, harmonious,unarmed and not threatening the safety of the people. Reasonable restrictions can be imposed under clause(3) of Article 19.
The right to assembly embodies the very idea of a democratic system. Article 9 (1)(b) thus includes the right to hold meetings and to take out processions. It has been reviewed, studied and interpreted numerous times by the Supreme Court. In its judgements Supreme Court has upheld the right to peaceful protest as a constitutional right and the right to assemble and demonstrate by holding dharnas is the basic feature of democratic system. People in a democracy have a right to raise their voices against the decisions and unreasonable actions of the Government or to express their opinion in any subject of national importance. The Government is obliged to respect and encourage the exercise of such rights.
This being the position, the political powers have resorted to the use of authoritation powers to stop the Central Government employees from exercising their constitutional right of conducting peaceful dharnas and demonstrations on 19-09-2017 and 17-10-2017 under the banner of Confederation of Central Govt. Employees & Workers. By conducting the programmes on 19-09-2017 and 17-10-2017 in a massive manner throughout the country, defying the Govt. orders, Confederation has upheld the constitutional right enshrined in the Constitution of India.