Supreme Court protects Nupur Sharma from coercive action by police

While the bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B.Pardiwala had declined her relief under Article 32 on July 1, on Tuesday, the same bench said it never wanted her to go to each High court.

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IN a U-turn, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that no coercive action against the suspended Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma be taken in connection with the pending multiple First Information Reports (FIRs) against her or the FIRs which may be filed in the future in connection with her remarks against the Prophet Mohammad. A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J.B.Pardiwala also issued notice to the Union Government and the state governments which have lodged FIRs against her.

The bench took note of the submission made by senior advocate Maninder Singh that it had become nearly impossible for Sharma to avail of alternative remedies in view of the threat to her life. It also took note of the various incidents including one Salman Chisti threatening Sharma with dire consequences. It also recorded in the order that Kolkata police has also issued a lookout circular due to which she apprehends her immediate arrest.

Also read: Criticism of Supreme Court’s strictures against Nupur Sharma is fair comment: AG

The bench said it would explore possibilities as to how she can avail alternative remedies in view of certain developments, that is, the threat to her life, that followed the court’s last order granting her liberty to avail the alternative remedies while refusing to entertain her Article 32 petition. Justice Kant clarified that the bench never wanted Sharma to go to each High court.

“Maybe we could not explain ourselves well”, Justice Kant added.

The bench was hearing an application filed by Sharma seeking a recall of the court’s July 1 order. The same bench had refused to entertain the petition filed by Sharma after making scathing observations against her that her loose tongue was single-handedly responsible for igniting emotions across the country and hence she must apologize to the nation. This led to a debate on social media and in civil society about whether the court was wrong in denying her the legal remedy of seeking clubbing of all the FIRs at one place, in light of the precedents laid down by the Court.

Also read: Nupur Sharma has a valid right to seek clubbing of multiple FIRs against her

In her plea, Sharma is pleading clubbing of all the FIRs with one filed in Delhi which according to her is the first FIR.

By issuing notice, the bench has obviously made it clear that it wants to hear the respondent States, which have filed FIRs against her, before accepting her prayer.  Similarly, by issuing notice, the bench has implicitly agreed to examine whether it should recall its July 1 order.

Click here to read the order.