The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 19 July, granted interim relief to former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s application who had moved the court seeking clubbing of all nine FIRs against her.
A bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala ordered that no coercive action shall be taken against Sharma in the existing FIRs, or in any FIR that may be registered against her in connection with the same telecast (of her remarks against Prophet Muhammad).
This is the same bench of the Supreme Court that had previously heard her petition. But Sharma had gone on to withdraw her petition that time following critical remarks from the bench. Subsequently, on Monday, she approached the court with a fresh Miscellaneous Application seeking revival of that petition.
The court, this time, said that they are looking into how Nupur Sharma will avail the alternate remedy of approaching a high court as permitted by them in their order dated 1 July. Further, they issued notice to the respondents.
The matter is to be listed for further deliberation on 10 August.
What Happened in the Court?
The court, according to Bar and Bench, also noted that the intention the previous time had not been to send Sharma to different jurisdictions for relief.
Meanwhile, Sharma's counsel claimed there is “ever increasing serious threat” to her life, and said: “We have seen in past how these situations pan out. whatever has happened has happened. I had to withdraw... now another 3 to 4 FIRs have been registered. you are protector of Article 21.”
A total of nine FIRs are reported to have been filed against Sharma in connection with her remarks against the Prophet, including one in Delhi, five in Mahrashatra, two in West Bengal and one in Telangana.
Nupur Sharma's Plea
Sharma had, on Monday, moved the top court seeking protection from arrest as well as the revival of her withdrawn petition seeking clubbing of FIRs lodged in several states over her remarks on Prophet Muhammad. She has made Delhi, Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Assam parties in her petition where FIRs have been lodged against her.
Senior Advocate Maninder Singh was appearing for Sharma.
Sharma has also sought expunction of remarks made by a vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala against her on 1 July while refusing to entertain her plea for clubbing of the FIRs, saying she has been receiving death threats after the criticism.
"In her plea seeking to pursue her earlier petition, she has contended that due to the adverse remarks against her she is facing threats to life from fringe elements," a lawyer associated with the case said.
Earlier, hearing Sharma's plea to move all the FIRs registered against her over the matter to Delhi, the bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala had criticised her remarks on Muhammad.
"The way she has ignited emotions across the country. This lady is single handedly responsible for what is happening in the country. We saw the debate on how she was incited... She should apologise to the whole country," Bar and Bench had quoted Justice Surya Kant as saying.
(With inputs from LiveLaw and Bar and Bench.)