Apex court protects Nupur Sharma from arrest

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The Supreme Court will take up Sharma’s plea to club/quash all nine FIRs against her on August 10…reports Asian Lite News

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, which slammed suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her remarks on Prophet Mohammad during a TV debate on July 1, on Tuesday said it never wanted her to go to every court and said no coercive action should be taken against her in FIRs registered so far and also cases, which could be registered in the future.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala said: “Meanwhile, as an interim measure, it is directed that no coercive shall be taken against Nupur Sharma pursuant to the impugned FIRs.”

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Sharma, contended that new FIRs are being registered, and added that they will pick her up. The bench said: “No coercive action to be taken against present or future FIRs in relation to the same telecast…”

The Supreme Court will take up Sharma’s plea to club/quash all nine FIRs against her on August 10.

At the outset, Singh said after the top court’s July 1 order, the petitioner has received life threats and it is not possible for her to travel outside Delhi to pursue these cases. He added that there is real threat to life and there are reports that someone was travelling from Pakistan to kill her and some were apprehended in Patna who were planning to execute her.

The bench told Sharma’s counsel, “We will correct it to a small extent. We never wanted you to go to every court… Maybe we could not convey this.”

Singh emphasised that there are ever increasing serious threats to her life. “We have seen in the past how these situations pan out. Whatever has happened has happened… you are protector of Article 21,” he said.

The bench noted that in her support, the petitioner in the miscellaneous application has stated that after July 1 order of this court, various incidents, like threats have been made by one by Salman Chishti claiming to be Khadim of Ajmer Dargah who has called upon to cut her throat, and another by a man from Uttar Pradesh, who made a viral video threatening to behead her.

Singh cited an order by another bench of the top court, where it had granted the ad interim relief by staying the similar FIRs.

The bench agreed to ensure that Sharma can avail of remedies available in law. “As any other citizen, you should also be able to avail of alternative remedies,” said Justice Kant.

The top court noted that the petitioner says it has become impossible for her to avail the alternate remedy granted by this court and that there is an imminent necessity to protect her life and liberty as guaranteed under Article 21. It also issued notice to Delhi, West Bengal, and Maharashtra Police and others on Sharma’s plea for clubbing of multiple FIRs

The top court, in its July 1 order, said: “Senior counsel for the petitioner seeks and is permitted to withdraw the present writ petition with liberty to avail the alternate remedies available under the law. The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn.”

Sharma had once again moved the Supreme Court seeking stay on her arrest in the nine FIRs against her for her remarks on Prophet Muhammad and also sought clubbing/quashing of the FIRs with the FIR registered at Delhi. In the fresh plea, Sharma cited the top court’s judgments saying that a person cannot be subjected to multiple FIRs in several parts of the country for the same offence.

On July 1, the top court had minced no words in slamming 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”.

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