Protesters cannot occupy public places indefinitely, the Supreme Court said this morning in a hugely influential verdict on a batch of petitions against the anti-citizenship law protests at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that cleared the parliament last year. “Dissent and democracy go hand in hand,” the top court observed, stressing that “protests like these are not acceptable”. “We have to make it clear that public places cannot be occupied indefinitely whether in Shaheen Bagh (in Delhi) or elsewhere. These sort of protests (like Shaheen Bagh) are not acceptable and (the) authorities should act… they must keep such spaces free from obstruction,” the top court said, adding the “administration cannot wait for orders from court to clear” the protest sites. The court also said, hoping that it does not come to such a scenario in the future.