New Delhi: Almost a month after the Islamic world exploded over her comments on Prophet Mohammad, the Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the now suspended BJP spokesperson, Nupur Sharma, saying “this lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country”.
A two-judge vacation Bench headed by Justice Surya Kant and also comprising Justice JB Pardiwala refused her request her to give instructions to club all the FIRs filed against her in various states and told her not to view herself as more important than the magistrates in various courts.
“She has ignited emotions across the country. This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country. She should apologise to the whole country,” the court said. “She and her loose tongue has set the entire country on fire. Her outburst is responsible for the unfortunate incident at Udaipur.”
The reference was to the murder of a tailor who had expressed his support to Nupur Sharma’s comments on Prophet Mohammad which were widely condemned and ignited anger in the Islamic world, forcing New Delhi to dub her and a BJP colleague as “fringe elements”.
After the may-end incident, the BJP suspended Nupur Sharma and sacked another spokesperson, Naveen Jindal in June.
Justice Kant said: “We saw the debate (on TV) on how she was incited. But the way she said all this and later says she was a lawyer it is shameful. She should apologise to the whole country.”
The court did not spare Delhi Police and the news channel which held the debate too.
“What has Delhi Police done?” asked Justice Kant. “Don’t make us open our mouth. What was the TV debate for? Only to fan an agenda? Why did they choose a sub-judice topic?”
The judge said: “This court has laid down a yardstick for multiple FIRs. Treatment of law should be equal… When you register a FIR against someone, then they are arrested but not you. This shows your clout.”
Senior lawyer Maninder Singh: “I am not saying do not arrest me if I have done something wrong.” Justice Kant: “Yes, yes.”
When the lawyer argued that Nupur Sharma had joined the probe, Justice Kant remarked: “Then what happened? There must have been red carpet for you. A red carpet!”
He added: “The freedom of a journalist cannot be equated to that of a political spokesperson who is making statements on television and ignites emotions across the country.”
Justice Surya Kant also asked: “Why is she here under a deceptive name?”
When her lawyer said she faces threats, the judge shot back: “She has threat or she has become a security threat? The way she has ignited emotions across the country. This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country.”
The judge added: “These acts are done by people who are not religious at all… Her remarks show her obstinate and arrogant character. She should go to those courts.”
The judge said there should have been a case against the TV anchor if it was argued that Nupur Sharma was only responding to the anchor’s questions and prompting.
During the hearing, the Supreme Court observed that her comments were “disturbing”.
Lawyer Singh told the Supreme Court that she had apologized for her comments and withdrawn them.
But an unhappy apex court said: “She should have gone to the TV and apologized to the nation.”
“She was too late to withdraw, and many people’s sentiments are hurt,” the court observed, and it refused to club all the investigations going on in various states and to transfer them to Delhi.
Singh said the investigation should have been carried on by the probe agency in one place.
The Supreme Court said the petition was dismissed as withdrawn and Nupur Sharma was at liberty to pursue alternate legal remedies.