This Article is From Jul 18, 2022

"Facing Threats After Strong Criticism": Nupur Sharma Goes To Supreme Court Again, Same Bench To Hear Plea

Nupur Sharma had earlier urged court to club FIRs filed in different parts of the country, but the court had refused, made scathing comments on her.

New Delhi:

Citing "renewed" threats after the Supreme Court's "unexpected and strong criticism" of her, suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma has again approached the court to halt her possible arrest and club nine cases filed across India over her comments on Prophet Mohammed. Her fresh plea will be heard tomorrow by the same bench — Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Surya Kant — that had criticised her on July 1

Ms Sharma had made her controversial comments about the Prophet and Islam while representing the ruling party on a TV show two months ago. As it led to a diplomatic row besides protests in India, the BJP suspended her. Two persons have since been killed for supporting her.  

In her earlier plea, too, she'd requested the Supreme Court to club all other FIRs with the one in Delhi, but the court said, among other things, that she was "single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country”. She then withdrew that plea. The judges' observations were not part of the final order, though — a fact that may help her case as she seeks some relief again. Also, the number of FIRs has since gone up by three.

In the fresh plea, she has argued that "fringe elements have renewed" rape and death threats to her since the criticism of July 1. She had cited such threats in her earlier plea as well. But the court had remarked, "She faces threats or she has become security threat?... It is shameful. She should apologise to the whole country." 

The bench faced severe criticism for the comments. At least fifteen ex-judges, besides former bureaucrats and retired officers of the armed forces, said that some of the observations were a “virtual exoneration of the dastardliest beheading at Udaipur”. A tailor named Kanhaiya Lal was murdered in Rajasthan's Udaipur last month by two men over his social media posts supporting Nupur Sharma. A similar killing took place in Maharashtra's Amravati.

Justice Pardiwala had responded to social media criticism, in particular, at a function. "Personal attacks on judges for their judgements lead to a dangerous scenario," he said, adding, "Social and digital media is primarily resorted to expressing personalised opinions more against the judges, rather than a constructive critical appraisal of their judgments. This is what is harming the judicial institution and lowering its dignity."