By: Vikas Mavi
2 June, 2022 (New Delhi): “Your loose tongue” is “single-handedly responsible” and you must “apologies to the nation”. These remarks were made by the vacation bench of justice Surya Kant and J. B. Pardiwala. The comments made by the honorable Supreme Court of India have made ripples across the country. The observations came after Nupur Sharma had approached the SC with a plea to club the FIRs against her in different states with the one in Delhi, over her remarks on the prophet. However, the court dismissed her plea and pulled her up for approaching the supreme court directly. The bench also criticised the Delhi police for its response in the matter and asked, “What has the Delhi Police done? Don’t make us open our mouths.” Justice kant said, “When you get an FIR registered against XYZ, he is arrested immediately… nobody has dared to touch you”.
Why the “threat” remark?
The court observed that the petition filled by the council of Nupur Sharma was under the name ‘N V Sharma’, which was done to hide her identity as there was a threat to her life. But on this, Justice Surya Kanth asked, “She has a threat or she has become a threat?”.
But there have been similar cases in the past, then why did the Supreme Court deny Nupur the same remedy?
The vacation bench of the SC clarified that the precedent given in the Arnab Goswami case was due to the fact that he’s a journalist. The same status cannot be extended to Sharma, who is a party spokesperson. The court observed that the constitution guarantees the same freedom of speech to all citizens, but to allow a journalist to be subject to multiple complaints, causing him to travel across the country, will hamper the citizen’s right to know the affairs of the government and the right of a journalist to ensure an informed society.
No relief for Nupur Sharma
While stating its remarks, the bench of Justic Surya Kant also asked, Why the TV anchor choose a subjudices topic, “What was the TV debate for?, Only to fan an agenda?, Why did they choose a subjudices topic?”. Eventually, the vocational bench declined to provide any relaxation, Senior Advocate Mahindra Singh, who is representing Nupur Sharma, requested the bench to allow the petition to be withdrawn with liberty to avail alternate remedies.