The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted protection to suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma from arrest in multiple FIRs. The SC was hearing a plea moved by her seeking a stay on her possible arrest and clubbing nine cases filed against her across India in alleged hate statements on Prophet Muhammad.
A bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala on Tuesday issued notice to all respondents including various states where FIRs have been registered in the case and also to the Union of India. The bench said, meanwhile, as an interim measure, no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner. “In light of recent events, the concern of the court is as to how can the petitioner avail the legal remedy. In order to explore the possibility… Let notice be issued to the respondents. The matter was posted for hearing on August 10. Copies of the main writ petition shall also be supplied to the respondents,” said the bench.
Court noted that the Article 32 jurisdiction of the court was invoked to get the relief of clubbing of cases. Since the above prayed for quashing of FIRs can be exercised by HC in its power under CrPC, this court on July 1 had asked the petitioner to take the alternative remedy. The petitioner has now filed this Modification Application pointing out that it has become impossible for her to avail of this remedy and there is an imminent necessity for intervention of this Court to protect her life and liberty. In support of her plea, the petitioner has averred that after our orders, various incidents including threats (SC notes Chisti’s remarks wherein he asked for cutting of petitioner’s throat). SC also notes the video of another person who abused her and gave life threats, the court said.
Nupur Sharma through petition has sought direction to club all the FIRs registered against her across the country. She said that after the top court’s strong criticism of her, the fringe elements have renewed their threat to her life and also given rape threats. Sharma had requested the apex court that since the first FIR against her was registered in Delhi, all FIRs at other places be clubbed with Delhi FIR.
On July 1, the Supreme Court came down heavily on Sharma and said that she and “her loose tongue” has set the entire country on fire and she is singlehandedly responsible for what is happening in the country. The bench had slammed Sharma for her statement made during a TV news channel debate and while referring to the Udaipur incident, where two men murdered a tailor, said her outburst is responsible for the unfortunate incident.
Rejecting Sharma’s request to transfer all the FIRs registered against her in many states for her alleged remarks on Prophet Mohammad to Delhi for investigation, the bench had observed that “She has threat or she has become security threat?” Senior advocate Maninder Singh appearing for Sharma had then withdrawn the plea.
“The way she has ignited emotions across the country, this lady is singlehandedly responsible for what is happening in the country,” the bench had said. The apex court then said that Sharma should have gone to the TV and apologised to the nation.
It also slammed Sharma for her arrogance and said because she is the spokesperson of a party, power has gone to her head. It had also asked about what the Delhi Police has done after a complaint was registered against Nupur Sharma.
The bench had said on her complaint a person is arrested, but despite multiple FIRs, she has not yet been touched by Delhi police. The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Sharma seeking the transfer of all the FIRs registered against her across the country to Delhi for her remarks on a TV news channel debate about Prophet Muhammad which had led to violent protests and riots in many states.
After the observation made on Sharma, both the judges were targeted on social media by users. Later, while attending an event Justice JB Pardiwala even expressed concerns at the personal attacks on judges and said that personal attacks on judges for their judgments led to a “dangerous scenario” where the judges have to think about what the media thinks instead of what the law really thinks.
Justice Pardiwala had said that social and digital media is primarily resorted to expressing personalised opinions more against the judges, rather than a constructive critical appraisal of their judgments.