SC Rejects Plea Seeking Nupur Sharma’s Arrest for Remarks Against Prophet

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NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea seeking arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks on Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that had sparked a major controversy in India and abroad. Nupur Sharma had made the remarks during a debate on a television channel.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit told the petitioner’s counsel that this may sound simple and innocuous, but it has far-reaching consequences.

The bench, also comprising Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and P.S. Narasimha, told the counsel, “we would suggest you to withdraw”.

Advocate Abu Sohel in his petition had sought directions for an ‘independent, credible and impartial investigation’ into the matter.

After a brief hearing in the matter, the petitioner’s counsel withdrew the petition and the top court dismissed the case as withdrawn.

During the hearing, counsel representing Abu Sohel cited the alternate prayer in the petition, which sought implementation of the directions in the Tehseen Ponnawalla judgment in relation to control of mob lynching.

On August 10, the Supreme Court transferred all FIRs against Sharma over her remarks on the Prophet to Delhi Police. The top court gave her the liberty to approach Delhi High Court for quashing of the FIRs.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala following the top court’s order in the case of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair case, ordered clubbing of all FIRs, across the country, against Sharma at Delhi, which will be probed by Delhi Police. The top court brushed aside vehement opposition by the West Bengal government, which wanted its police to be part of SIT with the Delhi Police or a court-appointed SIT.

The bench allowed Sharma to move Delhi High Court to quash the FIRs lodged or to be lodged for her alleged remarks in the future. It added that all FIRs to be lodged in future in connection with her remarks will be transferred to Delhi Police.

The top court made it clear that protection from arrest to Sharma will continue in all pending and future FIRs.

Nupur’s comments during a discussion on the Gyanvapi case on May 26 triggered a major controversy with protests and violence breaking out in several parts of the country.

The remarks by former BJP spokesperson also sparked global outrage with many Muslim nations condemning the remarks and demanding that the spokesperson be sacked and she issues an apology.

Under intense pressure, the government issued a statement in this regard distancing itself from the controversy, stating that the remarks were Nupur Sharma’s individual views. Nupur Sharma was eventually suspended from the party and sacked as its spokesperson. — IANS (Inputs added)

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