Nupur Sharma. (PTI)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on now suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, saying that she and "her loose tongue" has set the entire country on fire and is responsible for the "unfortunate" incident and violence in Udaipur. Further, the apex court bench said that Ms Sharma should apologise to the whole country.
Refusing to entertain her plea for the clubbing of all the FIRs filed across the country in the wake of Ms Sharma’s offensive remarks about Prophet Mohammed and the same being investigated by Delhi police, a vacation bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala said, "The way she has ignited emotions across the country. This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country," and the "unfortunate" incident in Udaipur.
Dismissing the petition by Ms Sharma as withdrawing, the court said, "The conscience of the court is not satisfied. We can’t mould the law accordingly."
As senior lawyer Maninder Singh appearing for Ms Sharma referred to a law laid down by the top court in its 2020 judgment in the Arnab Goswami case, where the court had clubbed all the FIRs lodged against him across the country and handed over the investigation to Mumbai police, the court, making a distinction between a journalist and a spokesperson of a political party, said, "journalist stand on a different pedestal" and pointed to Ms Sharma making "irresponsible statements without thinking of their repercussions" adversely affecting the fabric of the country.
Reacting to Mr Singh's argument that Ms Sharma was being investigated in the said matter by the Delhi police and probe in other FIRs too be entrusted to it, the court, in an observation reflecting on the way law-enforcing agencies were presently operating in the country, said, "What has happened in the investigation so far? There must have been a red carpet for you there."
The court also noted that on her complaint a person has been arrested, but despite multiple FIRs she has not yet been touched by the Delhi police.
When the court was informed that Ms Sharma is a lawyer with 10 years of standing at the bar, the bench wondering over her temerity in approaching the top court after making irresponsible statements disturbing peace in the country said, "We saw the debate on how she was inciting. But the way she said all this and later says she was a lawyer with 10 years standing? It is shameful. She should apologise to the whole country."
When Ms Sharma’s lawyer told the top court that she is joining the investigation and not running away, the bench remarked, "Don’t make us open our mouths."
"There must have been a red carpet for you. A red carpet," Justice Kant said.
Later in the day, a letter petition was filed before Chief Justice N.V. Ramana seeking the withdrawal of adverse remarks made by a Supreme Court vacation bench against Ms Sharma while declining her plea seeking clubbing of the FIRs against her at various places over alleged controversial remarks made on the Prophet.
The letter petition, filed by Delhi-based Ajay Gautam, who claims to be a social activist, said, "Issue appropriate orders or directions... to withdraw their observations in the matter of Ms Sharma so that Ms Sharma gets a chance of fair trial."
The letter petition said that it be treated as a PIL and the adverse remarks made during the hearing be declared as "uncalled for".
The FIRs were lodged in the wake of her remarks during a TV channel debate about Prophet Muhammad which led to violent protests and riots in many states.