The Supreme Court on Friday minced no words in slamming suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma, whose remarks on Prophet Muhammad sparked a controversy. The top court said her loose tongue has set the entire country on fire and her irresponsible remarks shows that she is "obstinate and arrogant".
Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Sharma, mentioned the plea before a bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala seeking transfer of all FIRs filed against her to Delhi. However, the bench reprimanded Sharma for making irresponsible comments against a religion during a TV debate. It said, "These remarks are very disturbing...shows her arrogance. What is her business to make such remarks?" Singh pointed at the written apology issued by her.
"This lady has a loose tongue...making inflammatory statements...she should have to go on TV and apologize to the whole country. Please don't compel us to open our mouth," the bench told Singh. It further added, "It is so disturbing...the outcome is what happened at Udaipur."
Singh said the top court has laid down the principle in Arnab Goswami case to stop vexatious multiple FIRs for the same alleged offence.
Singh said his client is facing a security threat and it would not be safe for her to travel now. The bench replied, "She faces threats or she has become a security threat? This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country."
SC criticises Nupur
The bench continued with its criticism of Sharma's remarks, saying, "These remarks have led to unfortunate incidents in the country...These people are not religious. They do not have respect for other religions...nefarious agenda...cheap publicity."
The bench said the remarks show she is obstinate and arrogant, and queried, if you are a spokesperson, "you have got license to make statements?... sometimes power goes to head". Singh insisted that there are multiple FIRs lodged in various parts of the country and her client is an advocate with 10 years of practice.
Singh added during the debate a foundation was laid for a mischievous provocation and cited top court's judgments ordering clubbing of FIRs in the same alleged offence. "All I am asking is for an investigation done at one palace...," said Singh. The bench queried what has been done in an FIR registered with Delhi Police so far. "They must be red carpeting for you...." said the bench. Singh said his client has joined the investigation and also cited the top court's order in businessman Satinder Singh Bhasin case where multiple FIRs were clubbed into a single FIR.
The bench questioned the police action in the case. It said, "When you lodge a complaint against someone that person is arrested but nobody dares to touch you...That shows your clout."
The bench also pulled the TV channel for the debate saying, "what was the TV debate about? Only to fan an agenda? Why did they choose a sub-judice topic?" The TV debate was on the issue of Gyanvapi mosque.
The bench added that on her complaint, a person is arrested but despite multiple FIRs she has not been touched by the Delhi Police.
The top court also expressed its reservation on Sharma bypassing the lower courts and directly moving the Supreme Court. "The petition smacks of her arrogance, that the magistrates of the country are too small for her," said the bench.
Singh submitted that there are serious debates on this issue within the same community, and relied on Goswami's case seeking relief for clubbing FIRs. He also referred to another case which held that there can be no second FIR on the same cause of action.
Justice Kant said the case of a journalist on expressing rights on a particular issue is on a different pedestal from a spokesperson who is lambasting others with irresponsible statements without thinking of the consequences. After a thirty-minute-long hearing, the bench refused to entertain Sharma's petition and asked her counsel to move the high court. Singh agreed to withdraw the petition and the bench granted him liberty to withdraw the petition.
Sharma had moved the top court seeking transfer of several FIRs, registered against her in many states for alleged remarks to Delhi for investigation. Sharma contended she is constantly facing life threats from unsocial elements despite withdrawing her comments.
(With inputs from IANS)