When Nupur Sharma made comments regarding the Prophet Muhammad, they led to widespread demonstrations in India and a number of formal objections from Gulf countries. As a result, she was fired as the BJP’s spokesman in June.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday combined all the FIRs filed against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma across the nation over her remark about the Prophet Mohammad and transferred them to Delhi Police’s Special Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations Cell (for cybercrimes). This was a significant relief for Nupur Sharma, who has been placed on administrative leave.
A Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice JB Pardiwala ruled that no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner (Nupur Sharma) as a result of the contested FIR(s) or complaint(s) or any FIR(s) or complaint(s) that may be registered or considered in the future regarding the telecast from May 26 on Times Now. On her request for the expunction of negative comments made by judges during the hearing of her appeal for the clubbing of FIRs filed against her due to her controversial remarks, it issued a notice.
She argued that the accused cannot be allowed to choose the jurisdiction and that the state police should also be involved in the investigation because West Bengal was where her testimony had the greatest impact. The Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police, which is a specialized agency, registered the Delhi FIR, the top court remarked, and it should be permitted to conduct the probe.
The Bench set the matter for further hearing on August 10 and requested responses from Delhi, Maharashtra, Telangana, and West Bengal states/UTs in order to investigate the possibility of letting her go before one specific High Court to contest all the FIRs.
Justices Surya Kant and Jamshed B. Pardiwala’s bench stated that it was inclined to agree with the decision made by the Supreme Court in the matter of AltNews journalist Mohammed Zubair. Notably, the same justices, who were on a vacation bench, had berated her on July 1, refusing to combine the FIRs against her, claiming that she was “singlehandedly responsible” for the state of the nation and that her “loose tongue” had “put the entire country on fire.”
The bench said her attorney might go to the Delhi High Court with reference to her request to have the cases dismissed. Singh was ordered to provide an additional affidavit with more precise information on the threats to her life that were made after the hearing on July 1 by the Bench, which noted that these incidents happened after that date.
The observations made by two judges against Sharma were earlier criticized by a group of former judges, bureaucrats, and military veterans on July 5. They claimed the comments went beyond what is considered “Lakshman Rekha.”
Supreme Court provides relief
On July 19, the court made the ruling that Sharma cannot be subjected to coercive measures in connection with any FIRs that have already been filed or any future cases that may be brought.
Her attorney had argued that she was facing a “grave and imminent” threat to her life and freedom when the top court issued its decision. Earlier on July 1, the court had rejected her similar plea, stating that her comment had set the entire country on fire. She was also given protection from arrest while the investigation was ongoing.
The court stated, “With the assistance of this counsel, we have gone over the contents of the application and the additional affidavit.”
The savage murder of a tailor in Udaipur by two men, who broadcast the murder’s video online and claimed to be acting in retaliation for an insult to Islam, was the context for the court’s prior criticisms of Nupur. Guruswamy continued, “The only activity Nupur Sharma is engaged in is forum searching.
In West Bengal, her remarks have caused a great deal of harm.” Two further FIRs have been filed against Nupur Sharma despite court orders, according to senior attorney Maninder Singh, who is representing Sharma.
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