The Supreme Court on Friday said that suspended Bhartiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma is “single-handedly responsible” for tensions that erupted after she made controversial remarks about Prophet Muhammad, Live Law reported.
Protests broke out in several parts of the country on June 10 against the disparaging remarks made by Sharma during a show about the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute on Times Now television channel on May 26.
On Tuesday, a tailor in Udaipur was murdered after he purportedly made a social media post supporting Sharma. The assailants filmed the killing.
Several first information reports have been registered against Sharma across the country. On Friday, a vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala was hearing a plea filed by Sharma to transfer all the FIRs to Delhi, Bar and Bench reported.
However, the Supreme Court refused to hear Sharma’s petition and asked her to approach the High Courts.
The judges said that Sharma’s comments were “disturbing” and that she should have made a public apology.
“What is her business to make these remarks?” the bench asked. “The way she ignited emotions across the country…This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country.”
Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, Sharma’s counsel, told the court that she had issued a written apology and had withdrawn her comments, reported Live Law. But, the judges said that Sharma should have instead issued an apology to the entire nation on television.
The bench said that being a spokesperson of a national political party does not give anyone the liberty to speak “such disturbing things”.
“These are not religious people at all, they make statements to provoke,” the judges said.
The bench questioned why Sharma did not approach the lower courts before filing a petition before the Supreme Court.
“The petition smacks of her arrogance that the magistrates of the country are too small for her,” the bench added.
The judges also took exception to the television debate during which Sharma made the comment.
“What was the TV debate for?” Justice Kant asked. “Only fan an agenda? Why did they choose a sub judice topic [the Gyanvapi mosque case]?”
In Sharma’s defence, Singh said that she had been provoked by another panelist in the debate. To this, he judges said that if Sharma was unhappy with the “alleged misuse” of the debate, she could have filed a complaint against the TV anchor.
The bench also criticised the Delhi Police for its inaction in a case filed against Sharma’s comments, reported Bar and Bench.
“What happened in that FIR [by Delhi Police],” the bench asked.
As Singh said that Sharma had cooperated in the investigation, the judges retorted: “Then what happened? There must have been a red carpet for you.”
The court made the remarks orally and were not added in the order. The court order just said that the Sharma’s petition is dismissed and she is at liberty to avail herself of “the alternate remedies under the law”.